Dramatic win after penalties lifts Al-Ahly past Khaleej and into fifth place at the 2023 IHF Men's Super Globe
12 Nov. 2023
Al-Ahly secured the fifth place at the 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe, with a dramatic win against hosts Khaleej, 35:34, after penalties, with the score tied after the regular 60 minutes, 30:30.
Petar Nenadic was once again the top scorer of the match, with 10 goals, also dishing eight assists for Khaleej, which finished sixth, the same place like last season.
PLACEMENT MATCH 5/6
Al-Ahly (EGY) vs Khaleej Club (KSA) 35:34 a.pen. (14:16, 30:30)
Khaleej had the chance to finish fifth in this edition of the IHF Men’s Super Globe, which would have been the second best performance from a Saudi side, after Al-Wehda finished fourth four years ago.
But for that, the Saudi champions needed a win against Al-Ahly, in what was always going to be a close match, especially as the Egyptian powerhouse aimed themselves for the fifth place, after missing out on the semi-finals, due to their loss against Barcelona.
And it was Al-Ahly which started the match better, but Khaleej bounced back thanks to the experience of left back Petar Nenadic, who entered the match as the top scorer and the top assists provider for the Saudi side. With Nenadic quarterbacking Khaleej’s attack, the Saudi side used a 5:0 unanswered run to take the first lead of the match, 7:4.
It was their attack which shined, but also a superb performance from goalkeeper Mohammed Abdul Hussain, who saved four shots in five minutes and 10 seconds, to help his side take the lead and start control the match.
Khaleej never relented that lead, despite Al-Ahly trying with all their might, as right back Mohsen Ramadan scored five goals in the first half. The most the Egyptian side could do was to tie the score, 11:11, but the final minute was all Khaleej’s, with the Saudi champions boasting two goals scored by Nenadic to take a 16:14 lead at the break.
The second half saw Nenadic once again delivering the goods, as he had six goals from six shots and six assists until the 42nd minute, helping his side create a four-goal lead, 21:17, taking advantage of Al-Ahly’s plethora of misses and turnovers, something truly unexpected from David Davis’ side.
Backed by a loud set of fans, Khaleej felt like they have the game under control, even when coach Dimitris Dimitroulias called a team time-out, after Al-Ahly cut the lead to only two goals. Several saves later from Mohammed Abdul Hussain, Khaleej looked in total control, 25:21, with 15 minutes to go, with their defence carrying the whole load and absorbing the pressure.
But a series of big misses and mistakes from Khaleej helped usher Al-Ahly back in the match. A 4:0 unanswered run, which also included a missed penalty from the Egyptian side, spanning to six minutes, saw Al-Ahly tie the game, 25:25, and create problems for the hosts, adding a huge pressure as the team coming from behind.
The drama was far from over, as Khaleej got back-to-back suspensions and Al-Ahly duly took advantage, using a 3:0 run to take their first lead in over 55 minutes, but Nenadic got one more ace upon his sleeve and tied the game with three seconds left, 30:30, with a powerful shot from 10 metres, as the winner was going to be decided on penalties.
Nine of the ten penalties were converted, with Khaleej’s Mohammed Al Meskeen being the only player which missed one, lifting Al-Ahly to a 35:34 win, as the African side ended up on the fifth place.
Just in like the previous edition, Khaleej finished sixth after a one-loss goal against an African side, with another excellent performance from the Saudi side, which showed huge growth and promise over the last two editions of the competition.
hummel Player of the Match: Petar Nenadic (Khaleej Club)