Alexandria, Qatar began their campaign in the 27th Men’s Handball World Championship in style yesterday, beating Angola 30-25 in their opening Group C match with a splendid performance in the second half.
Valero Rivera’s side had gone down to Angola 24-23 in the opening match of the 2019 tournament when it was hosted jointly by Denmark and Germany, but yesterday they lived up to their superior ranking and exacted revenge on their rivals from Africa
Angola’s line player Jaroslav Aguiar was the first to put the ball in the net, while Qatar only scored for the first time five minutes into the match.
Both defences stood strong. Qatar played an aggressive 6-0 defence, interrupting the Angola attack already at the nine-meter line. Angola answered with an agile 3-2-1 defence with good goalkeeping from Giovany Muachissengue between the posts. However, his counterpart Danijel Saric was even better, finishing with a 42 percent save rate.
A beautiful spin shot from pivot Yassine Sami gave Qatar the lead for the first time at 8:7 in the 18th minute. Angola drew level immediately after and held the lead for almost the rest of the half, only to give it away 25 seconds before the break. Qatar led 14:13 at half. Frankis Marko opened the second half with a goal to give Qatar their first two-goal lead of the game. A save from Saric followed by two goals, put Qatar ahead 17:13. This time it was Angola who struggled to put the ball in the net, scoring for the first time after five minutes. The drought was followed by an unanswered 3:0 run for Angola, causing Spanish coach Valero Rivera to call a timeout at 17:16 in the 37th minute.
“The team was the key to win this game today. Our defence was very well and we improved our attack in the second half”, said a satisfied goalkeeper Saric.
After the timeout, Qatar scored three goals in a row and took control of the match. Left wing and Player of the Match Ahmad Madadi scored his fourth penalty in the 45th minute to make it 23:18. Although Angola played well, they were unable to get closer than four goals.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee