Mexico secure first-ever win at the IHF Men's Youth World Championship

10 Aug. 2023

Mexico secure first-ever win at the IHF Men's Youth World Championship

While Brazil won 30:24 against the Islamic Republic of Iran and Mexico celebrated their first victory – a clear 52:23 against New Zealand – the other South Americans suffered a defeat. Algeria won 28:24 against Chile.

For New Zealand, the World Championships are over, they finish their debut on 31st place, as Burundi have withdrawn. 

Placement Match 13-16

  • Brazil vs Islamic Republic of Iran 30:24 (15:11)

After defeating the fifth-placed Asian championship team Bahrain last week by six goals, Brazil promptly beat the continental runners-up Iran by the same difference today (30:24) as the 13-16 Placement Round opened in Koprivnica.

In between those two defeats of Asian nations, Brazil had lost both of their games – against Egypt and Czechia – missing out on the quarter-finals in the process. Still, Brazil coach Giuliano Ramos will be happy to not only get back to winning ways in Croatia but in the manner with which they secured victory.

His side were behind just three times in the match, all within the first 10 minutes, as the majority of the first half was spent going back and forth between the two teams.

However, a 6:2 scoring run in the last 10 of the opening period saw the South Americans ease ahead and they were never troubled for the remainder of the game, starting strongly in the second, to go nearly 10 in front by the 38th minute (20:11).

While Guilherme Maia Cândido was rightly awarded best player for his 14 saves in the South American goal, it was more about the strong defending from his players in front which prevented Iran from getting clean routes through to the goal to make hard shots for a goalkeeper to save.

Up the other end, Guilherme’s namesake, Mikael Lopes Candido, did the business too, scoring seven goals to end as the top scorer for his side, eclipsed by Iran’s Amirhossein Karami, who scored nine times, including five in a row for his country at the beginning of the second half.

The South American side will now await the winners of Slovenia and Austria to play for 13th place and confirm their best finish in this competition since 2015. 

Iran will confirm their lowest-ever ranking with a play-off for 15/16th spot but being qualified for Croatia 2023 represents success in itself, having not appeared at this level since 2009.

hummel Player of the Match: Guilherme Maia Cândido (Brazil)

Placement Match 21-24

  • Algeria vs Chile 28:24 (11:14)

A strong comeback in the second half helped Algeria to snatch a win against Chile and proceed to the Placement Match 21/22, so the African team will avoid repeating their worst placement at the event, the 23rd in 2015 and 2017. In turn, Chile will fight for the 23rd position in their last match at Croatia 2023 on Friday.

Chile were the better side in the first half. After the sides were level at 5:5 11 minutes into the match, the South Americans enjoyed a 3:0 run to lead 8:5. Powered by Cristobal Oyarzun and Camilo Hernández in attack, they soon extended the gap to 13:8 before Algeria slashed it to three goals at the break.

The second half saw a quite different scenario, as it was the Algerians who firmly took the initiative. They opened the half with an impressive 6:0 run before Camilo Hernández finally scored Chile’s first goal after the break in the 42nd minute.

The South Americans woke up for a while, cutting the deficit to 18:19, but Algeria used a 4:0 run to pull clear at 23:18 with 10 minutes to go. The African team’s comeback would hardly have been possible without some heroics from their goalkeeper Sid Ali Achiche, who recorded 18 saves for a 43% save rate.

Chile were restricted to just 10 goals after the break, and in the closing minutes, Algeria had no problems keeping the match under their control, so no wonder that they celebrated their third win at the current competition and will meet Japan or Argentina tomorrow. 

hummel Player of the Match: Mohamed Ali Bendiab (Algeria)

Placement Matches 29-32

  • New Zealand vs Mexico 23:52 (10:25)

Mexico effortlessly won against New Zealand in Opatija and, with the first win at the competition, got themselves a battle for 29th place. 

Unexperienced New Zealand couldn't keep up with their opponents, but despite going into the clash for the last two places at the 10th IHF Men's Youth World Championship, they are still proud and happy just with being part of the competition.

New Zealand were fighting hard to keep up, but they only had the strength to do so for 11 minutes. Mexico made a 7-0 goal run, leaving their opponents goalless for seven minutes. Yahir De Jesus Garcia Reyes was Mexico's leader, giving deadly shots to New Zealand's defence. Six out of nine goals at one point were his.

The goal-runs continued for the Mexicans as New Zealand's attack efficiency was dropping from 55% to 42% by the half-time break. Not much changed in the second half as Mexico kept scoring with ease. Both defence and offence were devastating for New Zealand as the South Americans were galloping towards the 40-goal mark line.

Despite trailing throughout the match, Paul Pringot and Josh Bruce-Campbell gave their best efforts on the court to show New Zealand in the best possible light. Right and centre back had a great connection, ending the game with 13 goals between them.

While Croatia 2023 will be their lowest ranking after 20th place in 2011 for New Zealand and 24th in 2017 for Mexico, they have a thing to remember Croatia 2023 by. Both sides reached their milestones, scoring the highest number of goals in the history of the IHF Men's Youth World Championship.

hummel Player of the Match: Yahir De Jesus Garcia Reyes (Mexico)

Photo: Croatoa 2023/Kolektiff images