The last day of the 10th world cadet championship in the Josip Samaržija – Bepo hall in Koprivnica was reserved for the playoff from 9th to 16th place. In addition to five European teams, there were also two representatives from Asia and one from South America. And it was interesting to see how these encounters would unfold. Because most certainly each of them had their own plan, wishes and calculation. This is the outcome we got:
Play-off for 15th/16th place: SLOVENIA – IRAN 30:22
Slovenia finished the 10th World Cadet Championship by winning 15th place. This is far from their ambitions and values, but that’s how it is in sports. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The match against Iran was a one-way street for the Slovenians. They opened it with a 5:0 lead. Iran came close to minus three several times, but couldn’t do better than that. Slovenia had five more goals at halftime (14:9). The Slovenians went all out in the second half and won 30:22. As many as 12 players were on the list of scorers, because the Slovenian coach logically rotated the entire team. Mlivić Malik was the best with 5 goals. For Iran, 3 goalkeepers, 12 saves. With 4 goals, Magdi Dareini was the first scorer. Slovenia thus repeated the 15th place they won four years ago in North Macedonia.
Playoff for 13th/14th place: AUSTRIA – BRAZIL 36:24
Austria beat Brazil and won 13th place. Brazil held on brilliantly for the first 20 or so minutes. He faltered only at the very end and opened the way for the Austrians to create a more serious advantage and go to rest completely calm. In the last five minutes, they made a series of 5:1, so the half ended with a score of 20:14. Since they scored three more at the beginning of the second half, and did not concede a single goal, the Austrians actually already broke the game and decided the winner. They achieved their biggest advantage at the very end when they went 12 goals ahead. Theodor Leon Bergmann, one of the best goalkeepers at the World Championship, was once again the Austrian hero with 18 saves. Marko Bogojević added 5, so together they had as many as 23 saves. With that, the match cannot be lost. Daniel Wuzella was the first scorer with 8 goals from 8 attempts. Among the Brazilians, only Lucas Gabriel Vieira Da Silva should be singled out, who scored 6 goals.
Play-off for 11th/12th place: HUNGARY – SAUDI ARABIA 40:24
After a somewhat unexpected defeat against North Macedonia, Hungary quickly healed their wounds with a convincing victory against Saudi Arabia. Already after ten minutes, it was clear that the Asian team faced an impossible mission. After the first quarter, the Hungarians had a double advantage (10:5). By halftime, it had grown to five more goals, so the result was (20:10).
Of course, nothing significant has changed in the second part either. Except that the advantage of the Hungarian handball players was constantly growing. In the end, they stopped at plus 16, or the final score 40:24. Hungary had an extremely high 74 percent realization. With 6 goals, Balazs Szucs was the most accurate among the winners. One goal less on the other side was given by the best Saudi player in the Championship, Hussain Furaij.
Play-off for 09th/10th place: NORTH MACEDONIA – CZECH REPUBLIC 28:22
By winning over the Czech Republic, North Macedonia won 9th place, i.e. the best in the history of their performances at the World Championships. On the wings of victories against Austria and Hungary, the Macedonians defeated another European team and are returning home very happy. Against the Czech Republic, they already had a 7:3 lead after less than 12 minutes. After that, the Czech Republic wakes up and in the 23rd minute manages to come within just a goal behind (10:9). Then followed a series of Macedonia’s three goals, and the Czech Republic’s two goals, so that the score was 13:11 at the break.
In the second part, it was hand-to-hand combat. No one managed to create a serious advantage. Entering the last ten minutes, the Macedonians finally escaped to plus four (22:18). The Czech Republic slowly shows signs of fatigue and manages to catch more connections and in the end has to admit defeat. The final result was 28:22. Mirche Kalajdjieski scored as many as 12 goals. With the Czech Republic, Jonaš Josef was the best with 8 goals.