Barça's handball team lifts Champions League trophy (27-24)
Cologne was on Sunday evening the scenario for FC Barcelona’s second European Cup in two days, as the Barça Borges handball team beat Ciudad Real to take the eighth Champions League title of their history. Saric was the stand out star in the win.
Cologne (FCB).- The day after Guardiola\u2019s team thrilled all Europe with their triumphant return to Wembley, Barça Borges made it two continental titles in two days for FC Barcelona as they lifted the Champions League trophy in Cologne to round off a phenomenal campaign that has seen them beat the reigning European Champions (THW Kiel), the hosts of the Final Four (Rhein-Neckar Löwen) and in the Final itself this evening, one of the biggest names in European handball and an eternal rival for the team \u2013Ciudad Real. It is the 8th European Cup for Barça's handball team.
This was a win built on hard work and dedication over a whole season .indeed since the team\u2019s defeat to Kiel at this stage last year. The focus and concentration of Xavi Pascual\u2019s team was clear for all to see from start to finish. This was the day and the players were convinced this was their title for the taking. The result? A very complete game with a brilliant first half and the team\u2019s eight Champions League title.
Barça\u2019s Bosnian keeper was the star of the show, overshadowing Hombrados in the Ciudad Real goal with a fantastic display that started with two great stops in the first three minutes. This was a tough game, with aggressive defences who were taking no prisoners. Juanín and Noddesbo led the Barça attacks and with Saric \u2013who is a big favourite for the season\u2019s MVP, even getting a fantastic goal himself, this was a top notch first half, as both teams quickly converted defence to attack.
Barça were ahead as the half reached its midway point and three successive defensive blocks helped take them in 14-10 up at the break. Saric had the crowd on their feet with three masterful stops, to make it 10 in the first half and 21 in all \u2013a spectacular display.
Experience of last year holds the team in good stead
Ciudad Real are experts at fighting back though and the second half saw Barça suffer a bit more. An early goal from Entrerríos stretched the lead to 15-10, before his brother on the Ciudad Real team pulled two back to cut the distance again. Saric was again providential though and Barça gradually took their lead to seven goals(20-13).
Five minutes between minutes 45 and 50 when the team looked to be running low on gas allowed Ciudad Real to pull back to 23-19, but Barça showed they\u2019d learnt from last year and two Víctor Tomás goals and the continuing brilliance of Saric \u2013who may well have put in the performance of his life \u2013 meant that the title went to Barça Borges to round off a great weekend for the Club.
FC Barcelona Borges, 27 \u2013 Renovalia Ciudad Real, 24
FC Barcelona Borges (14+13): Saric (1), Noddesbo (8), Juanín (3), Tomàs (3), Sarmiento (1), Nagy (1), Rutenka (3) (seven starting); Entrerríos (2), Sorhaindo (1), Ugalde (1), Romero, Jernemyr, Igropulo (1), Rocas (2)
Renovalia Ciudad Real (10+14): Hombrados, Kallman (1), Guardiola, Aguinagalde (1), Abalo (3), Morros, Dinart (seven starting); García Parrondo (1), Chema (2), Jurkiewicz (5), Entrerríos (4), Lazarov (5), Cañellas (2).
Partials each 5 minutes: 2-2, 4-4, 7-7, 10-9, 12-10, 14-10 (half time); 15-12, 19-13, 22-15, 23-18, 26-20, 27-24
Referees: Nordine Lazaar i Laurent Reveret (FRA)