*** ----> Bahrain march through in handball worlds | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain march through in handball worlds

TDT | Manama                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com   

Bahrain powered into the main round of the 28th International Handball Federation (IHF) Men’s Handball World Championship last night with a resounding 30-28 victory over Belgium in their concluding preliminary round contest, played at Malmo Arena in the Swedish city of Malmo.

The Bahrainis recovered from a poor start and took the lead with under 10 minutes to go in the first half.

They boasted a 15- 12 advantage at the interval and held on over the game’s final 30 minutes to secure their first win of the competition.

Bahrain improved to three points on the Group H standings with the result, which was enough to secure their place in the competition’s ensuing stage.

It is only the second time in the history of Bahrain’s participation in the worlds that they have qualified for the main round.

The Bahrainis leapfrogged the Belgians on their pool’s table and were ranked only behind leaders and defending world champions Denmark, who were in action against Tunisia late last night.

The Danes had already secured their main round berth, while the last spot from Group H went to either Belgium or the Tunisians, depending on yesterday’s other outcome.

Bahrain are now in Group IV of the next stage, which is made up of the top three teams from preliminary Groups H and G (Egypt, Croatia, the US and Morocco). Action begins tomorrow.

In Bahrain’s win last night, the nationals fell behind to begin the contest, facing a quick 2-6 deficit.

But they gradually got into their groove, and goals by Ahmed Fadhul and Ali Mirza helped them narrow the gap to just two.

After an Ali Eid penalty that made it 6-8, Bahrain the Bahrainis went on a game-changing 6-1 run that gave them the advantage for good.

In the second half, they continued to put in a strong performance and enjoyed leads as big as seven multiple times midway through.

But the Belgians made a game of it late on as they slowly chipped away at Bahrain’s cushion.

Belgium cut the lead to just three goals, 24-27, with under four minutes left as at that point, the nationals had not scored for nearly five minutes.

But Bahrain skipper Hussain Al Sayyad fired in from six metres out to restore a four-goal edge and give his team some breathing room.

Their rivals were not done, however, and managed to get within 27-29 with just 42 seconds remaining on the game clock.

Bahrain veteran Ali Mirza eventually eased any worries, scoring from the nine-metre line to make it 30-27 and virtually seal the victory.

Nick Braun pegged the final score with a goal for Belgium but it came with only seconds to the final buzzer.

Ali Mirza finished as Bahrain’s leading scorer with six goals, while three added five, including Eid, Fadhul and Al Sayyad.

Mohammed Habib Mohammed chipped in with four and Hassan Al Samaheeji had two, while Mohammed Mirza, Mujtaba Alzaimoor and Mahmood Hussain Mohammed all had a goal apiece.

Goalkeeper Mohammed Abdulhussain was also in fantastic form, making 16 saves in the contest.

Raphael Kotters scored eight goals to pace the Belgians, who needed Tunisia to lose against Denmark to advance to the main round.

Arber Qerimi added five and Tom Robyns had four.


Bahrain drawn in tough group for under-21 worlds

Bahrain’s junior national handball team were drawn in a tough group for the 24th International Handball Federation (IHF) Men’s Junior World Championship, which is scheduled for this June and July in Germany and Greece.

The draw for the competition took place last night in Poland on the sidelines of the seniors’ worlds.

The Bahrainis were drawn in Group F alongside Sweden, Slovenia and the IHF Trophy winners, who are still to be determined.

There are eight four-nation groups for the competition’s preliminary round.

Group A includes France, Poland, Croatia and the US; Group B features Algeria, Germany, Tunisia and Libya; Group C consists of Portugal, Brazil, Kuwait and Costa Rica; Group D is composed of Spain, Faroe Islands, Japan and Angola; Group E includes Hungary, Denmark, Argentina and a team that is to be determined from Oceania; Group G features Serbia, Iceland, Chile and Morocco; and Group H consists of Egypt, Greece, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.