PREVIEW: The Spanish women's team and the Croatian men's team have reached the final at the World Beach Handball Championships - and for both games the opponents are no one less than defending champions Brazil
Spain, Croatia challenge Brazil for gold at World Beach Handball Championships
It is six years ago that a European team last topped the podium at the World Beach Handball Championships. And while there is a double chance this Sunday, when the finals throw off in Budapest, the challenge that awaits Spain and Croatia is huge.
In the men's as well as in the women's final the opponents will be no one less than Brazil, the dominating force in world beach handball and consecutive world champions since 2010 in the men's event and since 2012 in the women's event.
The women's final will throw off at 18:00 hrs CET, the men's final at 19:00 hrs CET.
Croatia reached the final with a 2:0 win against tournament hosts Hungary in the semi-final on Saturday afternoon, while Brazil beat Qatar 2:0 to reach the ultimate game of this championship.
Brazil and Croatia share a long history of competitive encounters at this level. In the Budapest main round on Saturday the reigning world beat the reigning European champions 2:0. Brazil also won the World Championship 2014 final 2:1 against Croatia, while Croatia might want to remember their 2008 performance when they beat Brazil 2:1 in the final of the World Championships in Cadiz.
Spain reached the women's final by beating European Championships 2015 silver medallists Norway 2:1. It was also a sort of revenge for the semi-final loss Spain had suffered against Norway at the Beach Handball EURO 2015 in Lloret de Mar.
Brazil beat hosts Hungary 2:0 in the semi-final, ending the European champions' hopes to also add the world title to their tally.
Just like in the men's event, Brazil won the one match they already played against Spain in Budapest. In the main round they beat them 2:0.
While Brazil have won the women's event at World Championships in 2012 and 2014, it is the first final for Spain since 2008. Back then they lost 2:0 to Croatia.
For more information and for live streams of all matches head to the official event website.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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