In the second half, the Spanish team put one more gearWith the fourth victory, you will still have to see Austria and Croatia Photo: Reuters The Spanish men’s handball team this Thursday added their fourth victory, and the first in the second phase, in the European Championship that is being played in Austria, Norway and Sweden, after imposing much forceful 31-25 on the Republic CzechIn this way, the current champion, although she did not play her best match of the championship, achieved her first two important points in the ‘Main Round’ which gives access to the medals after fulfilling the forecasts before an opponent she almost always dominated and the one who finished developing in the second half when he escaped with an already insurmountable difference.Spain had a hard time breaking the game and did not get it until the final quarter of an hour. In the first part, the Czechs, thanks to the great work in the goal of Mrkva (9 stops, including two seven meters), were able to recover from the first initial blow (7-4, min. 12).The Central European team, which suffered from the good work of Julen Aguinagalde in the pivot zone, grabbed the actions of his goalkeeper to match things (7-7). However, this balance seemed only real on the scoreboard because the Central European team did not succeed in disarming the 6-0 of the ‘Hispanics’ and survived mainly due to the lack of success of the current champion. Thus, the defense and appearance of Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas caused the Spaniards to re-open a gap that reached their maximum number of five goals (14-9) just before the break and after the Czechs only scored two goals since the tie seven and have them remain unmarked for the last seven minutes.Final hit after the last approachIn the resumption the crash script did not change much, although those of Jan Filip and Daniel Kubes recovered some offensive success, although it was not reflected much on the scoreboard because Spain, with good minutes of Alex Dusjhebaev, also scored with some ease to expand even at seven goals the rent (19-12, min. 37).The descent of success in the goal of Mrkva was compensated by the side Kasparek and the central Zdrahala as the best weapons of the Czechs, who did not miss another stop in attack of those of Ribera to sign a 1-5 of partial and recover options ( 20-17, min. 43).The Czech Republic did not last long because it did not survive a series of exclusions and the double world champion again took a good lead (23-17, min. 45). The attacks without goalkeeper were not the solution either and they received as punishment fast goals of the Spaniards who finished the game (29-19, min.53) to be able to live relaxed the final stretch. This Saturday (6:15 pm), the ‘Hispanics’ will face each other in a key game against host Austria.DATA SHEET–OUTCOME: SPAIN, 31 – CZECH REPUBLIC, 25 (14-9, at rest).–SPAIN: Pérez de Vargas (1), Corrales (p); Maqueda (3), Fernández (5), Entrerríos (1), A. Dujshebaev (5), Sarmiento (3), Aginagalde (2), Solé (3, 1 pen), Figueras (2), Cañellas (2) , Morros (1), Gómez (1), Ariño (-), Guardiola (1) and D. Dujshebaev (1).–CZECH REPUBLIC: Mrkva (p), Babak (1), Hrstka (1), Becvar (4), Jurka (-), Horak (1), Kasparek (6), Cip (2), Slachta (-), Vanco (1) , Zdrahala (8, 3 pen), Solak (-), Mubenzem (-), Zeman (-) and Mojzis (1).–PARTIALS EVERY 5 MINUTES: 2-2, 6-4, 7-6, 11-8, 12-9, 14-9 – rest– 17-12, 20-15, 23-18, 26-19, 30-20 and 31 -25.–REFEREES: Brunner and Salah (SUI). They excluded two minutes to Guardiola (2), D.Dujshebaev and Ariño, for Spain, and Zeman, Slachta, Mojzis, Jurka, Kasparek and Solak, for the Czech Republic.–PAVILION: Wiener Stadthalle. 3,986 spectators.
“We will take our revenge,” the mourners chanted. “We will continue the march of Abu Risha.” The sheik was buried one year to the day after he organized Sunni Arab clans into an alliance to drive al-Qaida in Iraq from sanctuaries in Anbar province where the terror movement had flourished since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the second-highest ranking U.S. officer in Iraq, and several high-ranking government officials attended the funeral, including Iraq’s interior and defense ministers and National Security Adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie. “We condemn the killing of Abu Risha, but this will not deter us from helping the people of Anbar – we will support them more than before,” al-Rubaie declared. “It is a national disaster and a great loss for the Iraqi people – Abu Risha was the only person to confront al-Qaida in Anbar.” Iraqi officials said the roadside bomb was just outside Abu Risha’s walled compound in view of a guard shack and an Iraqi police checkpoint. That raised suspicion that the killing may have been an inside job, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is sensitive. Sheik Jubeir Rashid, a senior member of Abu Risha’s movement, said police were questioning security guards and other staff but no arrests had been announced. During open-air Friday prayers in the streets of Baghdad’s Shiite slum Sadr City, a stronghold of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Imam Muhannad al- Gharawi blamed the assassination on the government’s inability to secure Iraq. “The Iraqi people have lost trust with this government and killings are still going on – the latest is the assassination of the Anbar Awakening Council leader,” he told thousands of worshippers. “Everyone is threatened with death in this country as long as the American Black House is still giving the orders.” Abu Risha’s assassination cast a cloud over Bush’s claims of progress in Iraq, especially in Anbar, which had been the center of the Sunni insurgency until the dramatic turnaround by the local sheiks. Bush met with Abu Risha during a visit to Anbar on Sept. 3. In a televised address Thursday, Bush ordered gradual reductions in U.S. forces in Iraq but rejected calls to end the war. More than 130,000 U.S. troops will remain after the withdrawals are completed in July. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday raised the possibility of cutting U.S. troop levels to 100,000 or so by the end of 2008, if conditions on the ground improve enough. “It was encouraging to see the president’s comments to Americans to reinforce support for us,” said Lt. Col. Mike Donnelly, 42, of Honolulu, based at Tikrit with the 25th Infantry Division. “It was encouraging to hear what he had to say because it gives validation to what we’re doing.” Capt. Bryan Greening, 25, of El Paso, Texas, said he found no surprises in Bush’s speech. “I think the drawdown is a good idea,” said Greening, assigned to Tikrit with the 1st Cavalry Division. “The surge has done whatever it can and now it’s time to allow soldiers to go home and get some rest.” In violence Friday, a suicide truck bomb hit a police checkpoint near Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, killing four policemen, a Beiji police officer said. South of Baghdad, gunmen killed three farmers who were taking their turn guarding a village, police said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! An al-Qaida front in Iraq claimed responsibility for the blast that killed Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, 37, and three companions. A statement posted on the Internet by the Islamic State of Iraq called Abu Risha “one of the dogs of Bush” and described Thursday’s killing as a “heroic operation that took over a month to prepare.” The statement could not be independently verified, but it appeared on Web sites commonly used by the insurgents. Al-Qaida earlier killed four of Abu Risha’s brothers and six other relatives for working with the U.S. military. In Diyala province, meanwhile, a bomb exploded near a U.S. military vehicle on Friday, killing four American soldiers, the U.S. command said. They were the first American deaths reported in Iraq since Monday. Many al-Qaida fighters were believed to have shifted to Diyala after Abu Risha’s tribal fighters helped drive them out of their sanctuaries in Anbar province. Scores of Iraqi police and U.S. military vehicles lined the route to protect the funeral procession as it followed the black SUV carrying the Iraqi-flag-draped coffin of Abu Risha to the family cemetery just west of Ramadi, Anbar’s capital. IRAQ: Al-Qaida group claims responsibility for Sunni’s death. Bomb kills four Americans. By David Rising THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD – Some 1,500 mourners called for revenge Friday as they buried the leader of the Sunni revolt against al-Qaida, who was assassinated by a bomb after meeting with President Bush earlier this month.