Group H: Who grabs the first main round spots?

16 Jan. 2021

Group H: Who grabs the first main round spots?

The second match day for Group H in Alexandria starts with Belarus and Republic of Korea. Both teams still await their first two points. Favourites Slovenia will play the Russian Handball Federation. If they win, Ljubomir Vranjes’s team will be qualified for the main round. 

Belarus vs Republic of Korea 16:30 CAT

This is the second competitive game between Belarus and Korea. They met eight years ago in the group phase at Spain 2013, where Belarus took a 26:20 victory. If Udladzislau Kulesh and his teammates can secure their first win at Egypt 2021, they will have a spot in the main round, as they will add two more points, while Korea would remain at the bottom of the table.

The young Korea team struggled in their opening match and were easily defeated by Slovenia. However, they managed to score 29 goals with Jin-Young Kim and Jinhou Kim both scoring six goals. They will most likely be without left back Younggil Kim who suffered a knee injury during second half of the match. 

Again, it will be a match of two different styles of handball and interesting to see how the tall and physically stronger Belarus players deal with Korea’s speed and agility. 

Russian Handball Federation vs Slovenia 19:00 CAT

The second match will see group favourites Slovenia take on the Russian Handball Federation Team. In Slovenia's opening match against Korea, they broke the Slovenian record of most goals in one match with 51 goals. The previous record was against Bulgaria in 2008 in a 47:20 victory. 

While Slovenia are atop of the group, the Russian Handball Federation drew with Belarus in their first match. They had a chance to win but missed the last shot with only a few seconds left on the clock.  

“We know that this game is not going to be easy. In the beginning we said that the most important match is the next one and now we are going into the second match and that is all we are thinking about,” stated Slovenian captain Jure Dolenec.

The Russian Handball Federation hold the historic record against Slovenia, with seven wins in nine competitive games. Yet, the last two games between the two sides have been won by Slovenia, both at the IHF Men’s World Championship. A hard-fought 28:27 win in the quarter-final phase at Spain 2013, when Slovenia finished fourth, was followed by a clear 32:26 win in the Round of 16 at France 2017, on the way to their first World Championship bronze medal.