Spain edged out Serbia (12:11) in the second match of the New Year’s tournament in Texas.
The game in Lewisville was open until the very end, and Spain earned a win thanks to Alvaro Granados, who scored a winner in the last minute.
Spain took the lead for the first time only in the fourth quarter. Serbia played significantly better than in a 12:16 loss to the USA a day before, but it failed to earn at least a point.
Three-nation tournament,Texas, Day 2
Serbia – Spain 11:12 (2:1, 4:3, 2:3, 3:5)
Serbia: R.Filipovic, Dimitrijevic, S.Rasovic 2, Randjelovic 1, Martinovic, Lazic, Drasovic 2, Jaksic 1, Jankovic, Ubovic, Stojanovic 2, Vucinic 1, B.Mitrovic, Radulovic 2. Head coach: Stevanovic.
Spain: Aguirre, Valera, Granados 5, Sanahuja, Biel 1, Larumbe 1, Paul, Cabanas, Tahull 1, Asensio 2, Mallarach 1, Bustos 1, Motos, Gomila. Head coach: Martin.
Serbia dictated the pace in the first half, while Spain chased the rival. The Serbs led 3:1 and 4:2. The Spaniards leveled at 4:4 in the 13th minute after Alvaro Granados scored an action goal. Still, the Serbs regained a two-goal lead (6:4) before the middle break.
Spain’s chase continued in the second half. The world champions leveled at 6:6 and again at 7:7, but Serbia entered the final quarter leading 8:7 since Nikola Jaksic found the net from a penalty shot a minute and three seconds before the end of the third period.
However, Spain took control in the fourth quarter. Serbia took the lead for the last time (9:8), but Spain replied with two goals. Midway through the fourth quarter Oscar Asensio found the net for 10:9 and Spain went ahead for the first time.
Serbia equalized twice (10:10 and 11:11). Still, Spain took all three points. Alvaro Granados, the man of the match, scored from a distance for 12:11 with 56 seconds left on the clock. It was the third goal from Novi Beograd’s player in the fourth quarter and his fifth in a total. At the other end of the pool, Djordje Vucinic hit the crossbar 30 seconds before the end. Spain kept the ball in the remaining time.
On Day 3, Spain and the USA will face off in Lewisville. After a one-day break, the tournament will continue with three games in Dallas (January 1 – 3).
Standings: 1. USA 3 (1 match), 2. Spain 3 (1), 3. Serbia 0 (2).