Qatar defeats Argentina, reaches quarter-finals of Men's Handball World Championship in Egypt

Qatar defeats Argentina, reaches quarter-finals of Men's Handball World Championship in Egypt

QLSports
By QLSports

Rafael Capote scored the decisive goal 27 seconds from time as Qatar secured the last available place in the quarter-finals of the 27th World Men's Handball Championship after they edged out Argentina 26-25 in Egypt yesterday.

Croatia's 26-38 loss to the group leader Denmark in the other match of the day ensured that Qatar's progression into the last-eight for the third time in their history was unhindered. The coach Valero Rivera lads, who were the silver medalists in 2015 and eighth-placed in 2017, will be up against Sweden in the quarters on Wednesday while title holders Denmark are set to play Egypt.

Frankis Carol Marzo was Qatar's leading scorer as he found the net eight times, with Federico Pizarro's 12 goals for Argentina, who were aiming to reach the World Championship quarter-finals for the first time, proving to be in vain.

Argentina enjoyed a better start to the exciting match held at the Cairo Stadium and were up 5:3 by the 10th minute. The South American team did a good job in defence, and Leonel Maciel made a few saves, while line player Lucas Moscariello led the way in attack.

Then things only got better for the 'Gladiators', who used a 4:0 run to lead 9:3, and by minute 18 had even increased the gap to seven goals (11:4).

But Qatar did not give up and sorted out their defence, and when they cut the deficit to 8:12, Argentina's coach Manolo Cadenas called for a time-out.

It was of little help, though, as his team were restricted to just one goal in the last ten minutes of the first half. Qatar's captain Ahmad Madadi scored five goals from the 7m line before the break and helped his team to close the gap to 12:13.

Frankis Marzo drew level early in the first half, but then Argentina reclaimed the initiative and pulled away (19:15).

However, the South American were unable to score for eight minutes and looked shaky in defence afterwards. Powered by Marzo and Rafael Capote, the two Cuban-born players who had a combined tally of 14 goals in the match, Qatar benefitted from their opponents' mistakes to reduce the gap to 19:18.

"Our game was not consistent. We started very well and had some moments of quality, but didn't show our best level after the break," Argentina's coach Manolo Cadenas said.

The Asian team gained momentum, and in minute 49, Marzo put them in front, 21:20. There was a lot at stake, and both sides looked nervous and made many technical mistakes. Yet, Qatar had more energy left and played a very tight defence, and they had the upper hand in the closing minutes.

"I'm very proud of my team. We did not start the match well but continued fighting. Now we will see what happens in Denmark vs Croatia game. Inshallah, Denmark will show again that they are the best team here," said Qatar's Valero Rivera, who won the duel of Spanish coaches against Cadenas.

With 27 seconds to go, Capote created a two-goal lead (27:25), and after Federico Pizarro netted for Argentina, their late attempt to draw level failed as Moscariello's long-distance shot was saved in the last second.

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