China take victory after close fight versus Nigeria

15 Jun. 2019

China take victory after close fight versus Nigeria

People’s Republic of China will have the chance to beat their previous ranking at the IHF Emerging Nations Championship, after winning the first 5-8 placement round match against Nigeria on Saturday. In 2017, China ranked sixth, and on Sunday 16 June, they will fight for fifth place again, versus the USA.

P.R. of China vs Nigeria 28:24 (12:13)

It was a game dominated by tough defence that could have gone either way, as the teams were well matched physically and stayed close on the score board most of the way. As he has throughout the Emerging Nations Championship, Nigeria right back Obinna Ani led the way for his side, tallying seven goals, while China’s main responsibility in attack was shared by the wings Zheng He and Peijie Huang.

The keys to China’s victory were a strong game from goalkeeper Quan Wang and an unusually high number of technical errors from Nigeria, which came as a result of the Asian team’s tough defence. Coming in for the second period when his team trailed by one goal, Wang was key in helping China claim the upper hand, as he saved at 42%.

After a level start, Nigeria took the lead at 5:4 at the end of the first quarter. The African side built an advantage as clear as four goals, 11:7 in the 22nd minute, before China came back within one in time for the break.

When the match resumed Nigeria held on to their advantage through the first 10 minutes before China took the upper hand with a breakthrough goal from Zhaopeng Li. After that, China did not let go of the lead again. The closest Nigeria came was one goal at 21:20 in the 49th minute, before China reopened a clear difference and held it until the buzzer.

Players of the match:
P.R. of China: He Zhang

Nigeria: Anas Mohammed