Before the first match of the day, the group was still wide open but with an Egyptian victory in the first encounter, the Main Round hopes of three teams would be destroyed – and Egypt did not take any chances but secured a 33:28 victory in the continental clash against Angola.
After that, the whole match day was about the positions in the group. The Asian champions Qatar beat the Pan American champions Argentina 26:25 in a thrilling match to advance to Cologne and play for places 13-16, while Argentina continue in Copenhagen.
The last match of the final Preliminary Round day was the battle for the top of the group which was ultimately won by Sweden against Hungary (33:30) – the Scandinavians now start the Main Round on four points, while Hungary and Egypt carry over one.
Egypt - Angola 33:28 (19:12)
Thursday was the fifth and last match day in Group D. Sweden and Hungary were already qualified for the Main Round, before the day went off but the third place was still to fight for – and the group was wide open.
Before the first match this afternoon, Egypt found themselves in the best position for this last Main Round ticket, as they shared the points with Hungary yesterday: a win for Egypt would secure them a position in the top three. Angola would need a win, and some help from Qatar to go all the way to the Main Round.
In the opening of the match, the Egyptian wing Mohammed Sanad could score three goals from the wing. Though Rome Hebo was suspended for two minutes, Angola kept contact in the beginning. The game was level at 3:3.
Ali Zeinelabedin was placed on the bench from the start. However, Egypt were able to take a comfortable lead in the ninth minute. In minute 12, Yehia Elderaa could increase their lead to 9:4. It was Elderaa’s fourth goal.
Afterwards, Angola needed a time-out. The coach of Angola changed the keeper-position. And even though he did a great job, Karim Hendawy was on a higher level at the other end.
Angola could not keep the contact any longer; Egypt had a 12:7 lead in the 19th minute.
Mohammed Sanad could once again score for Egypt, causing the Egyptian supporters to cheer. It was Sanad’s fifth goal: 17:11 after 24 minutes.
Symptomatic for the first half, Declerck Sibo for Angola hit the post from the 7m-line. Afterwards, he managed to hit the post again after the rebound. It was clearly a difficult afternoon for Angola and at the half-time buzzer, the score line showed a 19:12 lead for Egypt.
The second half started as the first half, where the two teams followed each other in the first minutes. But in the end of the last 30 minutes, Egypt get Declerck Sibo from Angola under control, who continued scoring goals as in the first 30 minutes. Because of his seven goals, Angola won the second half. But it was not enough – Angola could not get closer than minus four goals.
The Egyptian victory was never in danger, but Angola never gave up. After 47 minutes played, Rome Hebo got his third two-minutes suspension, which lead to a red card.
Thanks to the great performances of Yehia Elderaa with eight goals and goalkeeper Karim Hendawy, Egypt are now ready for the Main Round.
Egypt won the game 33:28 and are now going to the Main Round in Herning. Angola will stay in Copenhagen, to fight for the 17-24 places, this weekend in the President’s Cup.
hummel Player of the Match: Yehia Elderaa (EGY)
Statements after the match
Egypt coach, David Davis: Congratulation to our players and our federation. It’s a big day for our history. I think that we played better and better as the tournament progressed. Today I think we had the higher energy.
Angola coach, Jose Nobrega: First of all, congratulation to Egypt. I think we didn’t believe in it, in the first half. Second half was better, we played better, but it wasn’t enough. I think we surprised everyone in this championship, especially with our win against Qatar.
Mohammed Sanad: As our coach said, it’s a big day. We haven’t been in to these games since 2001, so of course it’s a big day for us. We reached our goal, and I hope we can do well in the Main Round.
Declerck Sibo, Angola: It was a really tough match. We played better in the second, but we were not able to make the difference. We have to keep our heads high; there are still two games to go.
Qatar - Argentina 26:25 (16:13)
After Egypt managed to qualify for the Main Round, there was not much to fight for in the second match of the day. The main price for the day was the honours of the fourth place, and the opportunity to play in Lanxess Arena, in Cologne. Argentina just needed a draw to secure that.
Federico Fernandez was back for Argentina after his suspension against Angola. He put Argentina in the lead. After just three minutes, the scoreboard said 2:1 for the South Americans.
Argentina looked like they wanted to win, while Qatar looked tired after their defeat to Sweden yesterday evening.
In the 9th minute, the Argentinian wing Santiago Barnetto could make it 6:4 for the Argentina side. Then, the Qatar team woke up. Two fast breaks goals for Youssef Ali and Qatar levelled the game. The same Ali could a few minutes later give Qatar an 8:6 lead. This turned the game around.
With an assist from the wing, Rafael Capote scored the 10:8 for Qatar, half-way through the first half.
In contrast to the games yesterday it was not a game of the ‘big saves’. With a double chance for Qatar, the goal post saved Argentina. Santiago Barnetto could thereafter equalise at the other end: 10:10. However, Ali once again gave Qatar a two-goal lead, a few minutes afterwards.
Even though the post saved the Argentina side five times in the first half, it was still a Qatar team, who easiest found the rhythm in the last part of the first half. With just four minutes to go, Frankis Marzo put them ahead by five, 15:10.
Argentina managed to decrease the difference before the break to only three goals (13:16)
The South Americans opened the second half better, even though Qatar started the half with a goal. Argentina played like a team and fought for the victory until the last minute. Especially their goalkeeper Leonel Carlos Maciel had some good saves, which lead them to a comeback in the match.
After just a few minutes played in the second half. Nicolas Bonanno tried to block the ball but unfortunately, he got hit in the head and had to receive treatment on the bench.
After some well-played minutes by Argentina, Qatar toke the lead back. In these minutes, the Team Official from Qatar got a warning for complaining.
48 minutes into the game, Argentina took a time-out (23:19). After that time-out, Argentina was suddenly only one goal behind (24:25). In the last minutes, Qatar got a two-minute suspension which Argentina took advantage of and equalised. But with two minutes left, Argentina got a two-minute suspension and Qatar took the lead again (26:25).
With a minute left of the match, Argentina had the ball and they only needed an equaliser to go through to Cologne. Argentina had a hard time getting past the defence but got a penalty. Unfortunately for Argentina, Danijel Saric saved it. And when Frederico Gaston Fernandez caught the rebound, a Qatar player knocked it out of his hands and the time ran out.
Qatar won the match 26:25.
hummel Player of the Match: Frankies Marzo (QAT)
Statements after the match
Valero Rivera, Qatar coach: I’m satisfied with the win, but not only the win. It was good to show that we were able to fight back after the loose yesterday. Today Rafael Capote was very important in both ends. I’m proud of my defense. It’s always difficult against Argentina, they some nice handball.
Argentina Coach, Manuel Cadenas: It was an interesting match. It was margins, which did that we didn’t manage to finish higher. Qatar got more players than Capote, and I think they played well. I’m satisfied with our fight today. We played a good match.
Allaedine Berrached, Qatar: I agree with my coach. I’m very proud to be on this team. We work hard every day, every game of the tournament. Together as a unit, I’m proud of what we have achieved and what we leaned.
Carlos Maciel, Argentina: It was difficult for us. We fought all we could. We were tired, and it’s always difficult in these tournaments. But in the end, I’m pleased with our performance this time.
Sweden - Hungary 33:30 (17:15)
The last game in group D was a group final between the favourites from Sweden and Hungary. Both teams had already advanced to the upcoming Main Round – the only question left to answer was: how many points will they carry over?
Royal Arena was, as usual, dressed in the yellow and blue colors. The Hungarian fans were nicely represented as well. Everyone was seeking the opportunity to watch the group final.
Just before the World Championship started, Kim Ekdahl du Rietz returned to the Swedish national team and completed his comeback. The Paris Saint-Germain player put Sweden in the lead 2:1 in the first minute of the match. However, Hungary equalised from the 7m-line just seconds later. Dominik Mathe scored the 2:2. Three minutes were played.
Appelgren was back in the goal today, and he continued the excellent way the Swedish goalkeepers have played in this group stage. Hungary was trying to slow down the extremely high pace of the opening minutes.
Mate Lekai gave Hungary a 5:3 lead, after a nice breakthrough, and the Hungary team just increased their lead. In the 13th minute Dominik Mathe could score yet another penalty goal.
The Swedish Coach Kristjan Andreasson needed a team talk, and he took the first time-out.
Hungary was strong in defence, with their tall players, playing in an aggressive way. Maybe Bence Banhidi was a bit too aggressive – he was suspended for a though tackle.
That brought hope into Swedish team. In the 16th minute Albin Lagergren reduced for Sweden (7:9), and in minute 19, Niclas Eckberg could score his second, and made it 9:10.
Within a few minutes Adrian Sipos was suspended two times and Sweden took advantage of that: Lukas Nilsson levelled at 11:11 in minute 22.
Mate Lekai was one of the most impressive players in the first half, he brought Hungary back with his amazing skills: 12:13 in minute 26.
Two minutes to go and Sweden took the lead back. Niclas Eckberg scored a penalty and put Sweden in the lead, 14:13.
Jim Gottfriddsson could finish the first half with a goal, which was at the same time the last strike in the first 30 minutes. Sweden took a 16:15 lead into the break.
The teams were ready for an intense second half just as well as the fans, from both Hungary and Sweden, who once again did an astounding job and created an amazing atmosphere. When the Swedes changed Andreas Palicka for Mikael Appelgren (saving rate at 34%) the Swedish fans gave him a big round of applause.
Andreas Palicka saved the ball and at the other end Mattias Zachrisson scored a goal, which made Sweden lead by 27:25. In response, Hungary took their second time-out.
Marton Szekely kept Hungary in the game with some very good saves. After 51 minutes played, the Swedish Official Team got a warning and Marton Szekely saved a penalty as the scoreboard showed a 29:28 lead for Sweden.
Laszlo Nagy got the Hungarian fans cheering when he equalised (29:29).
With two minutes left Sweden closed the match with a goal from Lukas Nilsson, who scored seven goals for Sweden.
Mate Lekai scored eight goals in the match and was the Hungarian top scorer.
After a fantastic match with numerous great saves and goals from both sides, Sweden won the encounter by 33:33. The Scandinavians take four points to the Main Round in Herning. Because of the earlier win to Egypt this evening Hungary carries over one point to the Main Round.
hummel Player of the Match: Lukas Nilsson (SWE)
Statements after the match
Swedish coach, Kristjan Andresson: Very intense game, with a lot of quality. I’m proud of my team, our goal was to reach the main round with 4 points, which we did. We know that Denmark and Norway will be tough opponents. We will do our best to reach the semis in Hamburg.
Hungary coach, Vladan Matic: We played a spectacular match. It was our first defeat. I think we were unlucky today. Let’s hope that we can play a little better in the following matches.
Lukas Nilsson, Sweden: It was tough match. We knew that they are a strong team, but we managed to fight 60 minutes. My own performance was good today; it worked very fine, with the line player, (red. Andreas Nilsson) and I. It had been some rough days with many games. But we knew that. It feels very good, to bring 4 points with us to Herning, but at the same time, it’s a shame to say goodbye to this arena, which gave us an amazing support.
Marton Szekely, Hungary: We feel sorry today, that we couldn’t manage to get any points. We did our best. We are happy that we are equal with Egypt and have the same score as them. I want to congratulate my team with our place in the main round.