All four groups featured at the 2013 Team Handball World Cup in Spain.
All four groups featured in the busiest day of competition at the 2013 Team Handball World Cup in Spain.
As previewed, most of the games were nothing more than formality for several teams. However, for a handful of them, the contests will decide how far they will go in to the competition.
In Group A France, Tunisia and Germany all won their games, consolidating their top 3 positions. The 4th and final qualifying spot for the Round of 16 will remain up for grabs. It will be between Argentina and Brazil, who despite losing on Tuesday got a helping hand from Tunisia, whose 27:25 win over Montenegro had essentially disqualified Zoran KASTRATOVIC’s (MUN) squad. Notable was Argentinia’s center back Diego SIMONET’s (ARG) 9 goal performance , in a losing cause to Germany.
Group B played out as expected as well. Qatar lost to Russia 29:22, despite an early 1st half disqualification for the Russian pivot Egor EVDOKIMNOV (RUS). Denamrk walked all over Chile 43:24. Anders EGGERT (DEN) topped all Danish scorers with 9. Rodrigo SALINAS (CHI) topped all scorers with 10. Iceland and Macedonia was the most balanced game of the day in Seville. Tied at 10 at halftime, Iceland eventually iced Macedonia 23:19, on the strength of Gudjon Valur SIGURDSSON’s (ICE) 9 goals. All eyes were on Group C and D.
In Group C, with Serbia, Slovenia and Poland already assured of a Round of 16 passage, Belarus vs. Korea was the game to watch, for the winner would entrench themselves into the 4th and final knock out round slot. And it was Siarhei RUTENKA (BEL) with another 11 goals, leading Belarus to an emphatic 26:20 win over the South Koreans. The Asian champs could not stop the tournament’s top goal scorer, who once again carried his team on his shoulders. And when they did stop him, it was goalkeeper Vitali CHARAPENKA (BLE) to the rescue, who stopped another 15 shots.
Also in Group C, Poland and Slovenia did not disappoint, providing the fans in Zaragoza with a thriller. Slovenia eked out a 26:24 win behind winger Borut MACHOVSEK’s (SLO) 8 goals. Poland kept the contest close until the 21st minute, when Kamil SYPRZAK (POL) was directly disqualified from the game.
Finally, in Group D Spain walked all over Australia 51:11 as expected. Croatia held off Hungary 30:21. It was just too much Ivan CUPIC (CRO) and Domagoj DUVNJAK for the Hungarian defense, who combined for 14 goals. Of course, despite the loss, Hungary is assured passage to the knock out round.
The derby pitted Algeria against Egypt. The two North African teams, who finished 2ndand 3rd at the 2012 African Nations Cup, met in Madrid. With Spain, Hungary and Croatia already through to the round of 16, a win by either team would be crucial in the fight for the 4th and last knock out round spot. Despite a comfortable 16:12 halftime lead for Egypt, Algeria fought back valiantly in the 2nd half. Algeria’s Riad CHEHBOUR’s (ALG) goal with only 40 seconds left in the game tied the game at 24. Egypt, was unable to score again, despite having the ball for the last 40 seconds of the game. The tie gave Egypt and Algeria 1 point a piece, keeping both squads alive for another preliminary round match.