DOHA, Qatar continued their impressive run in the ANOC World Beach Games handball as hosts entered quarter-finals yesterday at the Al Gharafa Sports Complex.
Asian champions Qatar had an easy outing yesterday as compared to the opening day, defeating Uruguay and Tunisia in straight sets to remain the only unbeaten team after the second day of the Group ‘B’ matches. Qatar started the day with 2-0 (19-18, 22-18) victory over Uruguay in the morning and later finished the day with 2-0 (18-12, 18-14) win over Tunisia.
Yes, I am very pleased with our performance. I was not expecting to win both the matches on the first day. Boys are combining very well and they are playing like a team. It is always tough to play two big matches in a day, but I am satisfied with the progress,” Qatar coach Khaled Hasan told Gulf Times after the match against Tunisia.
Hero of the Qatar’s shoot-out win on the first day, goalkeeper Rasheeed Yusuf, was again in good form as he saved nine shots out of 20 attempts on the goal. Qatar defender Morgan Ahmed and right winger Mustafa Alsaltialkrad were their main scorers.
For Tunisia, left winger Ahmed Safar’s shots were on target 80 percent of the time as he scored four times out of five attempts.
The handball schedule during the Games is very heavy as each team has to play two games in a day. On the first day, Qatar managed to beat strong European rivals Croatia and Hungary in shoot-outs. Croatia too qualified from Group B.
Qatar will play Spain, who lost to 2018 world champion bronze medallist Hungary in straight sets 2-2 (20-21, 16-19), in the last group match at 11.30am today.
Right now our focus is on tomorrow’s Spain match, our last group match. Spain is a good team, but they are coming with a loss in their last game and hopefully we will keep the winning momentum going before the quarter-finals,” he said.
As we are already in the quarter-finals we have to plan our strategy differently according our opponents,” he said.
In the other matches of the day, Denmark advanced to the next round after causing a major upset, handing Brazil a 2-0 loss in their men’s Group A match. The loss was the only one in the preliminary round for the world champions, which meant they had gone through too.
Sweden too reached the next round, despite a breezy Danish 2-0 win in a Scandinavian classic.
DENMARK UPSETS BRAZIL
Before falling to Denmark, Brazil had equalised the tournament’s scoring record, registering 27 points in the first set against Australia. The record was originally set by Denmark (vs the USA) on Day 1 of the competition.
The United States managed to grab one win against Oman � 2-0 (20-15, 16-12) � but they were defeated by Sweden 2-0 (23-18, 19-18).
As for Australia, after they were demolished by Brazil, they bounced back to defeat Oman 2-1 (18-19, 20-14, 7-6) in the shootout.
In the women’s bracket, Brazil faced no troubles and remained unbeaten in preliminary group A.
Argentina and Denmark also punched their tickets for the quarter-finals. Greece and Spain advanced from preliminary group B, after getting their fourth straight win in as many matches yesterday morning.
Reigning world champions Greece managed to survive the big scare Vietnam gave them 2-0 (24-22, 16-15) and continued with another hard-fought shootout victory against Poland.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee