The four national teams that were the winners of the President’s Cup groups in the 1st stage continued their fight in Rijeka for 1st place. The other 12 teams, on the other hand, were playing for the ranking and the best possible place at the end of this World Championship. As could be expected, there were very interesting matches. Here’s a quick overview:
PLAYOFF FOR 17TH TO 20TH PLACE
MOROCCO – MONTENEGRO 30:28 (7 M) (26:26)
One match on the 7th day of competition at the World Championship was decided after 7-meter throws. It was in the match between Morocco and Montenegro, which was very nervous with as many as 3 red cards in the first half. Montenegrins received two red cards, and Moroccans received one. The first part went to Morocco with 17:12. Montenegro spent the last atom of strength to reach the equalizer in the second half. They managed it five and a half minutes before the end. They even took the lead. But they did not last, the Moroccans equalized in the last minute, so the winner was decided by 7-meter throws. There, the young handball players of Morocco showed themselves in a better light and in the end celebrated 30:28. Lbachir Manouri and Abdellah Razgui scored 7 goals each for Morocco. For Montenegro, goalkeeper Lazar Sredanović was excellent with 15 saves. The best scorer was Andrija Radovanović with 9 goals.
ICELAND – SWEDEN 36:41
The match between Iceland and Sweden was extremely interesting. A book could be written about the rivalry between these national teams. The first 30 minutes were played goal by goal. Only at one point did Sweden have a plus two (13:15). But at halftime Iceland led with one goal 21:20. The Icelanders held the lead for another five minutes, and then it went to the Swedish side. And their lead remained until the end. It ended 36:41. Alex Mansson scored 10 goals for Sweden. For Iceland, Ossur Haraldson and Rafn Eiđur Valsson each scored 8 goals.
PLAYOFF FOR 21ST TO 24TH PLACE
ALGERIA – CHILE 28:24
Algeria beat Chile 28:24. The first part belonged to the South American national team (11:14). But in the sequel, they conceded five goals in the first five minutes, surrendered the lead to the Algerians, and were unable to catch up to their rivals until the end. It ended with plus four (28:24). As many as 18 saves were made by Achiche Sid Ali in the winning team. The best Chilean was Javier Sovino with 7 goals.
JAPAN – ARGENTINA 29:28
The match between Japan and Argentina was decided 15 seconds before the end. Believe it or not, Argentina had a five-goal advantage seven and a half minutes before the end. And they gambled it all away. From the score of 23:28, they didn’t score a single goal until the end, and they conceded six in a row and lost the game. By the way, the first half was also very uncertain. Japan led for twenty minutes. Then the advantage went to the side of Argentina, so that Japan would rise like a phoenix in the end and win that section 18:16. Kipei Furukawa was the best in the Japanese ranks with 8 goals. Lucas Ezequiel Obregon Gomez the most outstanding for Argentina with 6 goals.
PLAYOFF FOR 25TH TO 28TH PLACE
RWANDA – GEORGIA 33:41
Despite making as many as 20 technical errors, Georgia won against Rwanda and thus reached their second victory in a row. And it didn’t look like it would be like this. At least not if you look at the first 20 minutes. Until then, Rwanda was in the lead. But at the end of the first part, Gigi Rukhadze was fantastic in the goal of Georgia (total of 20 saves) and his team took three extra goals at halftime (16:13). As they scored three in a row right at the beginning of the second half, they created an advantage that they simply could not let go until the end. In addition to all that, in the 44th minute, Rwanda was without one of their pillars of its game, Karenzio Yannick, who received a straight red card and thus said goodbye to a possible celebration. Mbesutunguwe Samuel scored ten goals for the loser. On the other side, even two players scored 12 goals each – Sandro Darsania and Vakhtang Khelisupali.
SOUTH KOREA – USA 36:19
South Korea confirmed their role as favorites against the United States of America and reached their first victory in the Championship. The Americans were equal only for the first ten minutes. And then came an incredible streak of 14 goals in a row and the question of the winner was settled. At halftime it was 23:8, and at the end 36:19. The Koreans will thus fight with Georgia for the 25th place, and the Americans will play with Rwanda for the 27th/28th place. Mingi Son with 8 goals was the best in the Korean ranks. On the other side, the first name was Benjamin Edwards with 6 goals
PLAYOFF FOR 29TH TO 32ND PLACE
NEW ZEALAND – MEXICO 23:52
Of course, Mexico did not miss the opportunity to record their first victory at the 10th World Championship, but also the first in the history of their performances at these events. The “victim” was New Zealand. Only for the first ten minutes it was an equal match. Everything else was about Mexico. At halftime, they had a 15-goal advantage (25:10), at the end even 29 (52:23). As many as 16 goals were scored by Yahir De Jesus Garcia Reyes. For New Zealand, Paul Pringor was the best with 9 goals.
BAHRAIN – BURUNDI
This match did not take place because ten young handball players from that country inexplicably disappeared yesterday, the World Handball Federation announced in an official statement that Burundi is withdrawing from the competition.