Crunch matches to decide 2022 IHF Men’s Super Globe finalists
21 Oct. 2022
Day 4 of the 2022 IHF Men’s Super Globe will bring a new batch of answers, with the two finalists being decided. SC Magdeburg will face Al-Ahly SC, while Łomża Industria Kielce take on Barça, in a rematch of last season’s final in the EHF Champions League Men.
Al-Ahly will be buoyed by their excellent win against SL Benfica, their first against a European side in the Super Globe. At the same time, Barça and Kielce bring the two best attacks in the competition in what could prove to be a true IHF Super Globe classic.
Four games will also be played in the 5–8 Placement Round and the 9–12 Placement Round, with the final standings beginning to be shaped up.
- 18:00 AST SC Magdeburg (GER) vs Al-Ahly SC (EGY)
When the final whistle was blown, Al-Ahly SC realised that they had secured the win that would send them to the 2022 IHF Men’s Super Globe semi-finals. There were scenes of utter joy, with the players celebrating the 29:28 win against SL Benfica along with the 2,000 fans.
The Egyptian powerhouse broke a nine-year wait with this win that secured a semi-final berth at the Super Globe for an African side for the first time since Tunisian side Étoile du Sahel made it among the top four teams in the competition in 2013.
Despite a coach replacement, with Dani Gordo having been let go just before the 2022 IHF Men’s Super Globe, Al-Ahly duly delivered a performance for the ages to ensure their best finish in the competition since 2007, when they finished second.
However, their challenge will only get tougher from now on, as a match against reigning champions SC Magdeburg awaits, with the German champions being on a six-game winning streak in the IHF Men’s Super Globe, dating back to last season.
However, Magdeburg had their share of issues in the last match of the preliminary round against hosts Khaleej, taking a 35:29 win, which was only cemented in the last 15 minutes of the match, when the German side’s depth worked wonders against the tired legs of the hosts.
Magdeburg can become only the third team in history to qualify for the final in consecutive editions, after fellow German side Füchse Berlin and Barça. They will be favoured against Al-Ahly SC, the side that scored the lowest number of goals(65) and conceded the most (8) among the sides still fighting for the trophy.
However, the Egyptian side have the second and third-best scorers in the competition, as Omar Khaled Hassan scored 13 goals, while Ahmed Mesilhy added 12 goals. At the same time, centre back Ahmed Khairi was the only player to be named ‘hummel Player of the Match’ twice in this Super Globe edition.
- 20:30 AST Łomża Industria Kielce (POL) vs Barça (ESP)
Five months ago, the two sides collided in the EHF Champions League Men final, with Barça taking a 37:35 win on penalties, a heart-breaking game for Łomża Industria Kielce, who missed out on their second most prestigious European trophy.
The two sides have also rekindled their rivalry in the top European competition this season when Barça secured a 32:28 home win, improving their overall record against the Polish powerhouse to eight wins in 13 matches.
However, Kielce know a thing or two about winning against Barça, as they took two wins in the past four matches against the Spanish powerhouse, who are eyeing bolstering their record in the IHF Men’s Super Globe, with the sixth win in eight editions in which they took part.
On the other side, Kielce’s ambitions are high, with a maiden win in the IHF Men’s Super Globe going a long way for the Polish side, who have definitely been one of the most consistent European sides in the past decade.
Barça and Kielce are the two most potent attacks in the competition so far, with the Spanish powerhouse dominating the standings with 87 goals, followed by Kielce with 86 goals. The Spanish side also set the record for the largest number of goals scored in a single game at the Super Globe, 50, in their first match, against Club Ministros.
For the match against Barça, Kielce might miss right wing Paweł Paczkowski, who suffered a knee injury in the match against Taubaté, with the Polish side relying on that position on Arkadiusz Moryto, who has scored six goals so far in the competition after featuring prominently only in the match against Taubaté.
5–8 Placement Round
- 13:30 AST Khaleej (KSA) vs SL Benfica (POR)
- 15:30 AST Handebol Clube Taubaté (BRA) vs Espérance de Tunis (TUN)
The reigning champions of the EHF European League Men, SL Benfica, were handed a stern wake-up call in the last match of the preliminary round when they lost against Al-Ahly SC, despite leading by as many as three goals in the second half, with a complete collapse in the final minutes of the game, highlighted by a missed shot from left wing Jonas Kallman with two seconds left.
Benfica, who were eyeing a place in the semi-finals, will now be heading to the 5–8 Placement Round, where they will face another strong challenge from hosts Khaleej, who boast the top scorer of the competition after the first three days, left back Hassan Kaddah.
The Egyptian stalwart has scored 15 goals in the first two matches for Khaleej, impressing with his strong shots, as the Saudi side will be motivated by finishing fifth in the standings in their debut at the IHF Men’s Super Globe, which would be the second-best finish in history for a Saudi side, after Al-Wehda finished fourth in 2019.
In the other match of the 5–8 Placement Round, Handebol Clube Taubaté face Espérance de Tunis, with both sides trying to seal a finish in fifth place, which would tie their best-ever result in the competition.
Taubaté and Espérance both won their first matches in the competition but faltered against more experienced European sides, as they never stood any chance against Kielce and Barça, respectively. With two different styles colliding, this game will make for great viewing.
9–12 Placement round
- 09:30 AST Sydney-Uni (AUS) vs Mudhar (KSA)
- 11:30 AST Al-Kuwait SC (KUW) vs Club Ministros (MEX)
The four sides that will compete in the 9–12 Placement Round have all lost their first two matches, and they are trying to salvage something from the tournament by aiming to avoid finishing last.
For Club Ministros, it has definitely been a steep learning curve, conceding the most significant number of goals in history in the first two matches of the competition – 96 – with Al-Kuwait SC being the firm favourites, despite losing against Kielce and Taubaté. The experience brought to the team by backs Frankis Marzo and Angel Hernandez will be crucial, as the two Cuban-born players scored 21 goals between them in the first two matches.
In the other game, which will throw off Day 4 at the 2022 IHF Men’s Super Globe, Sydney-Uni will try to secure their second win in 38 matches in the competition, when they face hosts Mudhar.
Sydney-Uni have scored the second-lowest number of goals (44) and conceded the third-largest number of goals (76) in the competition, while Mudhar can rely on right back Amine Bannour, who has scored 11 times in the first two matches.