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Date: 9/8/2015
 

Semi-Finals
Füchse Berlin vs FC Barcelona 18:00 local time

Füchse Berlin began their first ever IHF Super Globe campaign with a victory against a Tunisian side that never gave in. Though the European team walked away with the win, it was after a competitive 60 minutes – something that will likely have helped them prepare for what will surely be a difficult semi-final game against the reigning champions. 

Having welcomed several new players including Drago Vukovic, Jakov Gojun and Kent Robin Tonnesen over the off-season, as well as a new coach in Erlingur Richardsson, the German team are still getting to know each other but are showing they are a strong squad. Whether they can overcome mighty Barca is another question however. 

FC Barcelona wasted no time in showing their strength in their first game. Coach Xavier Pascual certainly has options in his squad, with a world-class starting lineup that included big names such as Marko Kopljar, Danijel Saric, Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson and Victor Tomas who were substituted out after the first quarter for equally intimidating Filip Jicha, Kiril Lazarov and Kamil Syprzak. These names alone represent seven of the world’s top national teams, and there are more on the list of 16 that make it seem a very difficult feat for any opponent to challenge them. 

Sydney University Handball Club vs MKB-MVM Veszprem 20:00 local time

Sydney University Handball Club made history in their Quarter-Final match, winning their first ever Super Globe game to qualify for the next stage – but there they will come up against a formidable opponent in the form of Veszprem. Coach Philipp Enders rotated through most of his bench, showing he can count on a number of players including Diego Llorente Llamazares, Renato Tupan Rui and Pierre Gaulon. Llorente in particular was key to their victory, adding nine to the team’s tally. 

VELUX EHF Champions League runners-up Veszprem come into this game on the back of an expected win in their first game – though it was not their best 60 minutes. They started slowly and were unable to shake Taubate throughout the first 50 minutes despite holding a lead of one or two goals for most of the match, but they put in the difference when it counted to record the win and make their way to the Semi-Finals. 

Sydney Uni will find a challenge in Veszprem’s impressive squad list, which gives them two world-class players in almost every position and puts the odds in their favour. Against Taubate their Scandinavian players stood out, with line player Andreas Nilsson and newcomer Aron Palmarsson scoring five goals each, as did right back Christian Zeitz. Goalkeeper Roland Mikler sat off for the first half but made a big difference in the second with a 53.8% save rate. 

Placement Matches
Club Africain vs Al-Ahly Sports Club 14:00 local time

Club Africain pushed Füchse Berlin right to the end of their Quarter-Final match at the 2015 IHF Super Globe on Monday 7 September, and will be ready to do the same against Al-Ahly Sports Club in the first of the day’s placement matches. 

Led by strong attackers such as Mohamed Soussi, Amine Bannour and Oussama Hosni, the Tunisian team had patches of excellence that allowed them to come back time and time again against Berlin. The never-give-up attitude characteristic of African teams was evident in their opening game, and it will surely help them as they take to the court against Al-Ahly on Tuesday. 

Al-Ahly put up a good fight in their first game, but they were up against a seemingly unstoppable opponent: FC Barcelona. They will meet a more equal match in Club Africain, and will look to key players like Mamdouh Abouebaid, Mohamed Ramadan and Ali Mohamed. 

Al-Sadd vs Esporte Clube Taubate 16:00 local time

Esporte Clube Taubate played perhaps a stronger game than expected against their powerhouse European opponent in the first game, MKB-MVM Veszprem, keeping pace with the Hungarian side well into the last ten minutes of the match. They showed they are not a team to be underestimated and have an ability to start strong, so will likely present a big challenge for Al-Sadd, who had a somewhat disappointing opening game against Sydney University Handball Club. 

Andre Silva is one of their most dangerous players, contributing five goals to his team’s tally in the Quarter-Final, with Alan Soares their next top scorer on four goals. Brazil national team goalkeeper Maik Santos did not finish with a high save rate against Veszprem’s shooters, but he made some impressive stops nonetheless. 

Al-Sadd played a close first game against Sydney Uni, but they could not overcome the Oceania champions and lost by one goal to send themselves into the Placement Round. The Asian team might face difficulties against Taubate, but will look to key players like line player Abdulla Alghamdi, who scored six goals in their Quarter-Final.  

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