NEWS: Taberna El Panduro A M Team Almeria ended the Italian dream in the final of the Beach Champions Cup in Italy
UNBEATABLE ALMERIA FIGHT BACK TO WIN GOLD
There was to be no Italian dream for Blue Team as Taberna El Panduro A M Team Almeria spoiled the party to take the women’s gold medal at the Champions Cup in Catania.
Austin Collado Rodrigeuz’s side became the third Spanish winner of the women’s title as Almeria fought back from losing the first period to win 7:2 in the shootout.
It looked as though Blue Team, an Italian side made up of players that represented the national team at this summer’s Beach Euro in Stare Jablonki, were on course to celebrate a memorable victory on home sand when Luigi Toscano’s took a tense first period 18:16.
However, back came the side from Spain, and Almeria – who came in to the final having won all six matches in Sicily – took another close period 20:17.
That, of course, meant a shootout – something the Italians had excelled in during the tournament having won their previous two.
However, goalkeeper Monikia Pruenster launched a shot from her own area over the crossbar to hand the advantage to Almeria.
And when Vanessa Djiogap missed her effort for Blue Team, the Spaniards knew had a lead they could not lose and celebrated gold on their first appearance at the Champions Cup.
While Blue Team had to settle for silver, the Italians could take heart from a fantastic run to the final. Toscano’s side had beaten reigning champs Szentendrei in their first game and their silver medal can act as inspiration ahead of an important 2020 for Italian beach handball with Pescara hosting next year’s Beach World Championships.
The bronze medal went to Sport Club Senec, who won Slovakia’s first ever medal at the Champions Cup thanks to a 6:2 victory in a shootout against Danish side Odder Håndbold.
Top scorer: Clara Robayo Romero (Sevilla)
Best goalkeeper: Monika Preunster (Blue Team)
Best defender: Violetta Gonzalez Portero (Almeria)
MVP: Matia Batista Portero (Almeria)
Fair Play Award: London GD
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