Men’s 20 EHF EURO
The story of Spain's epic comeback
An incredible 6:0 run late in the second half of the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2022 final gave Spain their third victory in the competition, denying hosts Portugal a historic win.
Portugal looked like they were on the road to victory, led by their exceptional back line of Francisco Mota da Costa, Andre Sousa and Martim Mota da Costa who combined for 25 goals. However, Portugal failed to score throughout much of the fourth quarter of the game, giving Spain the chance they needed.
Spain’s 37:35 win came in the highest-scoring final in the competition’s history. It also meant they tied Germany for the most wins, after previously taking the title in 2012 and 2016, and levelled with Germany and Denmark for the most M20 EHF EURO medals (six).
The final was the culmination of an exciting competition which threw new talents into the spotlight and saw 3,354 goals scored in 56 matches.
Francisco Mota da Costa became the top scorer of the competition after his 11-goal outing in the final, topping the charts with 58 goals, four more than Denmark’s centre back Thomas Arnoldsen. He was also named All-star right back of the competition, alongside his brother Martim who was All-star left back.
Spain’s right wing Antonio Martínez and line player Javier Rodriguez were also named on the All-star Team.
Serbian centre back Stefan Dodic became the tournament’s MVP. He was instrumental for Serbia's return to the spotlight and, as the focal point of the team's attack, scored 29 goals in Portugal.
19-year-old Dodic dazzled with his creativity and superb handball IQ, following in the footsteps of players like Austria's Nikola Bilyk, Portugal's Diogo Silva and France's Kentin Mahe, all of whom who were named as the MVP at previous tournaments.
Several teams arguably underperformed during the tournament. France missed the top four for the first time in eight years; Germany were seventh and Denmark eighth – although Danish centre back Thomas Arnoldsen made the All-star Team and was the second top scorer of the tournament.
The Faroe Islands qualified for the 2023 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship, for finishing 10th in their maiden M20 EHF EURO, and were consistently impressive.