Egypt aim to follow footsteps of U21 squad
13 Aug. 2019
The 2019 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship eighth-finals in Jane Sandanski Arena will open with Egypt meeting Slovenia – and the African champions targeting what would be their first quarter-final in this competition since 2011.
In the other eighth-finals in Jane Sandanski, France will meet Norway, Croatia will play Hungary, and Spain will take on Sweden.
Feature match: Egypt vs Slovenia
Jane Sandanski Arena, 14:00 local time
Egypt have not reached the quarter-finals at the IHF Men’s Youth World Championship since 2011, while Slovenia were the silver medallists in 2015. At the previous edition in Georgia, both nations’ 1998 generations were knocked out in the eighth-final stage, with Egypt losing to Japan by one and Slovenia defeated by Croatia with a four-goal margin.
As the winners of their group, Egypt appear to be the stronger of the pairing this time around. The African side recorded four victories on the path to the knock-out round, beating Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Canada and Hungary, but losing to France. Slovenia placed fourth in Group A, thanks to wins over Chile and Saudi Arabia, followed by defeats to Spain, Croatia and Norway.
“During the game we played very well. It was the system that we played in the senior team. We knew how to defend the Hungarian attack,” said Egypt’s Hussein Ali Zaki following the critical round five win that ultimately secured them first place on their group table.
The mention of the senior Egypt team’s system is far more relevant to the African side’s performance at North Macedonia 2019 than might first appear – as Egypt will host the 2021 IHF Men’s World Championship, they have been focused on developing the generations that contested this summer’s Junior and Youth World Championships. The results are clear to see, as Egypt claimed their first medal (bronze) at the Junior World Championship in 20 years in July.
Now, they hope to take their first medal at the Youth World Championship – and a victory against Slovenia in the eighth-finals is the first step towards that goal.
Croatia hope to extend victorious record
After Egypt and Slovenia’s eighth-final, France and Norway are next on court at 18:30 local time. The back-to-back defending champions France certainly do not want to say goodbye to the trophy race yet, while Norway want to see how far the strong form they showed against Slovenia in round five can take them.
The third eighth-final in Jane Sandanski will see Hungary facing formidable Croatia, who arrive at the knock-out round with a perfect record of victories. Croatia hope to extend their winning run when they take the court at 16:15 local time. The eighth-finals in Jane Sandanski will end with Spain meeting Sweden at 20:45 local time.
President’s Cup clashes first on the agenda
The day in Jane Sandanski Arena will open with the first match of the 21-24 placement round at 9:30 local time, as Chile meet Youth World Championship debutants Canada. The winner of this match will play for 21st place, while the losing side will vie for 23rd on the second day of the President’s Cup.
Saudi Arabia and Chinese Taipei will follow at 11:45 local time, with the first of the 17-20 placement games.