Egypt reach quarter-final after draw with Slovenia
24 Jan. 2021
Similar to the previous match against Sweden, Slovenia salvaged a point in the dying seconds of the game against Egypt, but this time, this result did not make the European team happy.
They needed only a win to qualify to the quarter-final stage, while a draw was enough for hosts Egypt to go through.
MAIN ROUND GROUP IV
Slovenia vs Egypt 25:25 (12:8)
Matej Gaber, who had scored a last-gasp goal against Sweden, picked up where he left off, opening the score in this match before Miha Zarabec’s two goals put the European side into the lead (3:1).
The Balkan team controlled the match and enjoyed a 3:0 run to lead 10:5 by the 24th minute, as Klemen Ferlin did a fantastic job in goal.
Then, the ‘Pharaohs’ woke up and scored three unanswered goals, yet they were still down at the break by four (8:12).
Powered by Jure Dolenec, Slovenia enjoyed a good start in the second half to lead 15:10, but then Egypt scored five goals in a row within just four minutes to draw level.
Boosted by that run, the African side started to dominate, while Slovenia looked shaky and nervous. They conceded several goals into an empty net, as they took their goalkeeper off during a two-minute suspension.
“We deserved to win, but unfortunately couldn’t do it. This is sport. It’s hard to lose, but I am proud of my players,” Slovenia’s coach Ljubomir Vranjes said.
Many of his players had faced stomach problems before the game, and while Dragan Gajic and Stas Skube could not play at all, some other players took part in the match but were not able show their best performance.
Even though Ferlin finished the match with 18 saves (at a rate of 49 per cent), his heroics did not help the Slovenes. The ‘Pharaohs’ had their leaders in attack, with Ahmed El-Ahmar, Yahia Omar and Mohamed Sanad once again demonstrating their importance for the team.
“I’m very proud of my team, they did everything for the victory. It was a very tough match against a great team,” said Egypt’s coach Roberto Garcia Parrondo.
Two minutes before the final buzzer, line player Wisam Navar created a two-goal lead (25:23), and although Borut Mackovsek and Miha Zarabec helped Slovenia to draw level, it did not help the Europeans to remain in the title race.
hummel Player of the Match: Yahia Omar, Egypt