Sixteen national teams that failed to pass to the so-called main group, had to be satisfied with matches in the President’s Cup. According to the same key as in the main groups, the teams that were in group A and B in Varazdin, C and D in Koprivnica, E and F in Rijeka and G and H in Opatija joined. All of them transferred the points from each other’s matches. After two rounds, the two group winners will continue the fight for the ranking from 17th to 20th place, the second-placed for the ranking from 21st to 24th place, the third-placed from 25th to 28th place and the fourth-placed from 29th to 32nd place. There were no major surprises, unless for someone it was the Rwanda’s win over Morocco. Here are all the results of the first day of the President Cup:
VARAZDIN: President’s Cup: Group 1
ALGERIA – NEW ZEALAND 39:14
RWANDA – MOROCCO 33:32
Algeria routinely did their homework against New Zealand. At halftime it was 22:4. In the second half, it was a slightly more equal match. New Zealand scored 10 goals. It ended 39:14. The match between Rwanda and Morocco was full of twists and turns. Almost all 60 minutes, it was played a goal for a goal. In the end, the Rwandan team was more fortunate, winning 33:32. Morocco thus missed the opportunity to retaliate against them after the defeat in the semi-finals of the African Championship. After this round, Algeria is in the lead with 4 points. The second and third places belong to Rwanda and Morocco, which have 2 points each, and the fourth place belongs to New Zealand.
KOPRIVNICA: President’s Cup: Group 2
ICELAND – SOUTH KOREA 38:23
BAHRAIN – JAPAN 21:33
Iceland, as one of the “small” disappointments of the first round, won against South Korea. Already after the first part, they were 5 goals ahead (18:13). At one point, the Koreans came to minus three. But then, in the last quarter, the Icelandic machinery started working and gave them 16 goals. It ended 38:23. After very solid games, but also three defeats, Japan finally found a “victim” and beat Bahrain 33:21. After the first part, they had plus three. In the second, they completely relaxed and scored as many as 20 goals. The final score was 33:21. Iceland is the leader with 4 points, Japan and Bahrain have 2 points each, and South Korea has none.
RIJEKA: President’s Cup: Group 3
CHILE – GEORGIA 34:25
MONTENEGRO – MEXICO 28:27
Chile led from start to finish against Georgia. There was a bit more fight in the first part, which ended 14:9. But down the second half, Georgia fell completely and ended up conceding another 20 goals. Montenegro and Mexico played another very even match. Montenegrins led the first and Mexico led the second quarter. At the break, Mexico had plus three (12:15). From the middle of the second half, the advantage shifts to the side of Montenegro. Three minutes before the end, they were three goals ahead (27:24) and they almost squandered everything. In the last minute, they still scored a goal and won two points. In that group, everything is as expected, so Chile and Montenegro are at the top of the group with 4 points each. Followed by Georgia and Mexico, who have no points.
OPATIJA: President’s Cup: Group 4
ARGENTINA – BURUNDI 39:25
SWEDEN – USA 50:17
Argentina, like many others, toyed with Burundi. They played the first half with too much caution. Thus, it ended with only two extra goals for Argentina (16:14). But in the second part, the South American team spread its wings and in the end convincingly won 39:25. Sweden partially alleviated the sadness due to the failure in the first part of the Championship in a great victory against the Americans 50:17. Goalkeeper Arvid Skoog had as many as 19 saves. Argentina and Sweden are thus tied for 1st place in the group with 4 points. Then the USA and Burundi follow.