Angola, Brazil, Japan and Spain secure first places in their President's Cup groups at North Macedonia 2024

25 Jun. 2024

Angola, Brazil, Japan and Spain secure first places in their President's Cup groups at North Macedonia 2024

With positive results secured in the last day of the group phase of the President's Cup, Angola, Brazil, Japan and Spain clinched the first place in their groups, heading to the Placement Matches 17-20, while the Islamic Republic of Iran and Uzbekistan secured their maiden wins at the 2024 IHF Women's Junior World Championship.


Brazil vs Tunisia 26:24 (15:9)

Thanks to a win in this match, Brazil finished top of Group I with the maximum of six points and stay in contention for the President's Cup, as they will now participate in the Placement Matches 17-20. In turn, Tunisia ranked second with four points, and they will continue in the Placement Matches 21/24.

Centre back Lorena De Souza Santos became Brazil's top scorer with six goals, and her teammate Julia Rodrigues added five more to the team's tally. For Tunisia, Mayssa Ben Hassine netted seven times, and goalkeeper Ilef Aya Boubaker boasted a 42% save rate, yet their effort was not enough for the team success.

Brazil were clearly the dominant side in the first half, opening an early 6:2 lead and eventually extending the gap to six goals, 15:9, at the break, which proved to be an unassailable lead. 

In the second half, Tunisia improved their game and pushed for a comeback, and they cut the gap to just two goals, 19:21, with 12 minutes to go. However, they failed to do more, as the Brazilians held their nerve and earned their third straight win at North Macedonia 2024. 

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Julia Rodrigues, Brazil

Islamic Republic of Iran vs Chile 27:25 (12:13)

After four straight losses, the Islamic Republic of Iran opened their account at North Macedonia 2024, beating Chile in a hard-fought match. The Asian side will now go to the Placement Matches 25-28, while Chile, who have conceded their fifth straight defeat, will end up in the Placement Matches 29-32.

The goalkeepers of each side made 15 saves in this match, and the Islamic Republic of Iran's back court players Nastaran Koudzarifarahani and Fatemeh Merikh scored eight and six goals respectively, combining for more than a half of their team's tally, and contributing a lot to the Asian side's success in this encounter.

The Islamic Republic of Iran opened up a 7:4 lead midway through the first half, but Chile fought very hard and turned the tide before half-time. Yet the Iranians started the second half with a 3:0 run, and they were slightly dominant afterwards, ultimately clinching a long-awaited victory, 27:25. 

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Isidora Valdivieso, Chile

Argentina vs Japan 33:35 (15:18)

An early 2:0 start of the match dictated the tempo for the whole 60 minutes, as Argentina could never get their groove on, failing to lead one second or and tie the score only once, despite trying their mightiest.

A 6:1 Japan run between the 16th and the 21st minutes created the largest gap of the match, 15:9 for the Asian side, which had right wing Ayaka Sasaki score six goals, while left wing Yusa Okumura and centre back Toko Yamaguchi add five goals each.

However, Argentina were still in the hunt for a result, as they cut the gap to only three goals at the break, 18:15. In the second half, Japan continued to frustrate Argentina with an aggressive 4-2 defence, only for the South American champions to fail to stop the pacy Japan attacks.

As centre back Magali Alfredi had her best outing at North Macedonia 2024, with 11 goals, Argentina tied the score, 23:23, but a quickfire 3:0 run for Japan eventually turned the match into the Asian side’s fortunes, as Japan kept their cool and delivered a 35:33 win, with line layer Konoka Azuma scoring the last goal with three seconds left.

With this win, Japan secured the first place in Group II of the President’s Cup, and will face Angola in the first of the Placement Matches 17-20, while Argentina are second and will be heading to the Placement Matches 21-24, where they are due to play against Guinea.

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Ayumu Koyama (Japan)

Czechia vs Spain 29:29 (19:16)

After several disappointing performances throughout the last matches, including losses against Serbia and the People’s Republic of China, Czechia finally delivered a better outing against Spain, in a 100% European battle, which had a strong impact towards the final standings in Group III of the President’s Cup.

It was a topsy-turvy match, with plenty of lead changes, as Spain looked tired and uninspired, after some heavy battles already against France and Germany, as they emerged from a two-match winning run, which set them at the top of the table.

A strong finish of the first half, inspired by backs Simona Schreibmeierová and Veronika Vávrová, helped Czechia to take a 19:16 lead at the break, only for Spain to open the second half with a 4:0 unanswered run and wrestle back the lead.

The teams went back and forth, as Schreibmeierová and Vávrová combined for 20 goals, in their best outings at North Macedonia 2024 so far, with the lead changing hands for four times in the second half. But as the end was closer, it was Czechia which looked to have the upper hand.

However, Spain bounced back and as back Eider Poles Olucha entered the court once again, she helped her side take the lead, 29:28, with 90 seconds to go. However, Czechia aimed for the win, the only result which would have seen them improve their chances for a better finish.

Twice did goalkeeper Patricie Wizurová save shots in the last minute, only for Czechia to be able to tie the match, through Vávrová’s ninth goal, but eventually Spain defended well to avoid a loss, with the match ending in a stalemate, 29:29.

Spain have now won the group and will face Brazil in the Placement Matches 17-20, while Czechia have three points, but will fall on the third place provided Serbia beat Algeria in the last match of the day in the President’s Cup.

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Simona Schreibmeierová (Czechia)


Guinea vs Angola 22:23 (11:8)

Angola won the African derby in Group IV of the President's Cup after Bernardeth Carla Belo's converted a free throw in the last second, thus securing their third win at North Macedonia 2024. Guinea performed well, being in front for most of the first half and made Angola sweat. It might come as a surprise knowing Angola beat them at the 2023 CAHB African Women's Junior Handball Championship 31:22, but both teams knew a win would secure the top of the group.

It was a slow start from both sides, without a goal in the first three minutes. Despite Angola being the one to find a way through the opponent's defence, it were Guinea who were off to a better start altogether. Boosted by the Mabinty Bangoura's saves (4/6) took the 5:3 lead. However, hasty attacks led to turnovers that hampered any chance of widening the gap, and Angola used that cleverly. Two straight goals by left wing Elisandra Pedro saw the teams on level after 20 minutes of the first half.

Angola's shining moment ended as Guinea spurred a 4:0 run between the 21st and 28th minute setting a 10:6 lead on the scoreboard. Despite some setbacks, they managed to keep the lead at the halftime break, 11:8.

However, Angola looked refreshed in the second half, completely changing the pace. A blistering start resulted in a 4:0 goal run, pushing Angola to the first lead in the game after having 1:0 at the beginning of the clash.

From that moment on, it was Guinea who was trailing and trying to catch up with the help of their two best players - Mariama Bangoura and the Alkaloid Player of the Match, Mayelie Soumah. 

First Bernardeth Carla Belo, who was Angola's fulcrum, netted for 22:21, 40 seconds before the end. Mariama Bangoura levelled, leaving a chance open for Guinea to secure better placement matches. However, Angola used the time and did not let the ball from their hands and with smart attacks secured a free-throw. The outcome? Belo netted her seventh in the game securing a magnificent victory for Angola.

Angola secured first place in group IV and will continue in the Placement Matches 17-20 where they will first meet with Japan. Their African friends will fight from 21st to 24th place in the competition with their first opponents being Argentina.

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Mayelie Soumah (Guinea)

Uzbekistan vs United States of America 42:25 (20:14)

Uzbekistan celebrated their first win at the 2024 IHF Women’s Junior World Championship and their first in history in the competition after beating the United States of America, 42:25. 

Uzbekistan were determined to end their losing streak and threw off the match with three straight goals leaving the USA goalless for the first four minutes.  USA team never backed down and cut the gap to one, keeping the contest close for almost 20 minutes.

The outstanding performance of Uzbekistan's goalkeeper Rukhshona Ruzieva in the first half, with 13 saves out of 27 attempts, fueled the Asian's side attack, which created a 16:10 lead, through converted fast breaks.

While right wing Eden Nesper helped the USA to have the best offensive performance at North Macedonia 2024, their defence could not cope with Uzbekistan's powerful backcourt line which scored 18 out of 20 goals in the first half.

Not much changed in the second half as Uzbekistan kept pouncing. 13 minutes in they got their hands on the first double-digit lead (29:19) and built on that. The USA tried to reinforce their defence with Julia Malysz between the posts but she also had a tough job.

Uzbekistan cruised to an unassailable win, passing the 40-goal mark for the first time at the world flagship competition with 9 out of 11 outfield players scoring at least once. For the USA, alongside the Alkaloid Player of the Match Eden Nesper and her seven goals, left back Daisy Licea with seven goals lifted her team to one of their best performances at the competition.

Uzbekistan now awaits for their opponent in Placement Matches 25-28 and the USA will have to keep dreaming of their first win at the competition in Placement Matches 29-32.

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Eden Nesper (United States of America)