Argentina turn on the style in second half
12 Aug. 2019
Argentina grabbed their third win of the 2019 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship in North Macedonia, overcoming a low-scoring first half and – according to their coach – nerves, to bounce back against Nigeria to leave their opponents rock bottom of the group with five losses in a row.
Argentina vs Nigeria 30:22 (10:10)
Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje
In the 24th minute Argentina coach Fernando Capurro asked his players a simple question: ‘Do you want to win this game?’ His side had just conceded four goals in a row to see the African bronze medallists take the lead (9:8) for the second time in the match in the 24th minute after the South Americans had been 8:5 up in the 18th minute.
At the half-time break it was 10:10, but Argentina had wasted a perfect opportunity to go in front when Federico Matias Baumgartner, running towards an open goal, shot well over to shock and disbelief from himself and his team.
While that miss could be afforded to sweat on the ball, Capurro revealed to IHF.info what he thought the problem was at the break.
“In the first half we had some tactical problems and I think it had to with the nerves of my players,” he told IHF.info. “So at half-time we talked about that and how we could change it, which we did in the second half.”
Change it they did – winning the second 30 minutes 20:12 – but they were not able to put the game to bed until a 5:0 run which started at 22:19 in the 50th minute and ended at 27:19 four minutes later.
Argentina had gone ahead by four (17:13, 40th minute), but Nigeria came back again and Capurro took a time out with 11 minutes remaining and the score 22:19 in his favour.
This stopped the Nigerian attack and when the influential Joseph Gbawuan received a direct red card in the 52nd minute, this, combined with the South American goal run ensured that the Argentina U19 men equalled their most-ever points haul in a men’s or women’s youth or junior world championship – equal with the Diego Simonet-generation who played in the 2009 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship.
After this result Argentina sit in third place in group C, awaiting the completion of the group with North Macedonia vs Japan tonight at 20:30 (local time).
Best Player of the Match: Martin Nicolas Jung (ARG)
Photo: WCH 2019 / Filip Viranovski