Sweden Stun Defending Champions Spain

21 August 2012

13. Farhiya Abdi (Sweden)
Farhiya Abdi made the decisive jumpshot with two seconds left to hand Spain their first loss of the tournament

A basket with just a handful of seconds remaining by Farhiya Abdi sealed a breath-taking and surprise 63-61 Second Round success for newly promoted Sweden over last year's gold medallist Spain at the U20 European Championship Women.

In arguably the most compelling game of the tournament so far, Abdi made the big play when it mattered and finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds to hand Anna Caula her first taste of defeat since taking the reins as head coach of the Spanish team.

It was an absolutely terrific advert for the women's game and the credit must go to all the Swedish players, who found the belief to hang tough in crunch time having blown a 15-point lead.

Spain was looking unstoppable and with most neutrals probably expecting the inevitable and Spain to execute down the stretch, Sweden managed to stay physically and psychologically strong.

Just when Spain had overturned the third quarter deficit and took the lead, Ida Christensen made a big three-pointer and it handed her team renewed confidence.

Then as this riveting contest entered the closing stages, potential Spanish hero Andrea Vilaro spoiled her otherwise impressive second half work by turning the ball over via a double-dribble when it should have been the final possession of the game with five seconds left on the game clock.

That handed Abdi the chance to grab the headline and she took it in great style by sinking a mid-range jump-shot.

Spain had an unlikely opportunity to then win the game but with 1.4 seconds left and with the ball inbounded from halfway, they couldn't get a decent shot off and that sparked scenes of utter jubilation from an elated Swedish bench, as the win put them through to the Quarter-Finals.


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