Brazil and Islamic Republic of Iran extend main round hopes with last-gasp wins

03 Aug. 2023

Brazil and Islamic Republic of Iran extend main round hopes with last-gasp wins

The Islamic Republic of Iran created another huge shockwave at the 2023 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship with a crucial win against the Faroe Islands, mounting a spirited comeback to take back the lead in the final minute and clinch a 29:27 win, which enabled the Asian side to significantly improve their chances of progression for the main round from Group H.
In another close-cut game in Group D, Brazil snatched a 31:30 win against the Republic of Korea, with the Asian champions now out of contention for a place in the main round after having lost their first two matches at Croatia 2023.

  • Group D

Republic of Korea vs Brazil 30:31 (15:16)
As difficult as it might have been to come back on the court after two losses on their first day of the competition, the Republic of Korea and Brazil went back to try and expand their chances of progression to the main round at Croatia 2023, and for the first 15 minutes, it looked like the Asian side might have an ace up their sleeve.
Korea deployed an ultra-aggressive 3-3 defence, which shifted to a 2-4 at times, and forced Brazil to build their game from deep, blocking the main weapons – Brazil’s powerful backs – from having any meaningful chances of scoring.
It worked like a charm for the plucky Asian side, which took an early 10:6 lead, prompting an immediate timeout from Brazil, as they redesigned their attack and used a seven-on-six scheme, taking out their goalkeeper and replacing him with an outfield player.
First, the Republic of Korea failed to score for seven minutes and 23 seconds, with Brazil mounting a strong comeback, as the South American side finally took the lead after a 7:2 run, spurred by back Mikael Lopes Candido, who scored five times from six shots.
With Candido continuing his excellent game and left wing Joao Vitor Lindoso adding six goals, Brazil looked set to clinch the win, as they led throughout the second half, but the Republic of Korea mounted a huge comeback, fuelled by an absolutely outstanding game from right back Jinhyeok Moon.
The left back, who scored 10 goals in the game, was the fulcrum of a 4:0 unanswered run from Korea, who wrestled back the lead in the 53rd minute (27:26), with Moon scoring three of the four goals, which prompted Brazil to go back to the board and rethink their approach.
Their aggressive approach, which yielded constant two-minute suspensions in the last six minutes, worked in the end, as Brazil eventually sealed a 31:30 win after goalkeeper Gabriel De Souza Silva saved a one-on-one shot with two seconds to go, helping his side secure the crucial two points.
Brazil will now progress to the main round provided they secure a win in the last match of the preliminary round against Bahrain, while the Republic of Korea, the reigning Asian champions, are out of contention for a main round spot after losing against both Bahrain and Brazil and having no path to the next phase of the competition.
hummel Player of the Match: Mikael Lopes Candido (Brazil)





  • Group H

Faroe Islands vs Islamic Republic of Iran 27:29 (13:9)

The Islamic Republic of Iran returned to the IHF Men's Youth World Championship after 13 years, and they did it in style. After sharing spoils with Sweden on the first day at Croatia 2023, they made a comeback and won against the Faroe Islands, marking their first-ever win over a European team. Debutants Faroe Islands were leading throughout, having the biggest lead by seven but didn't know how to deal with the tenacious Asian side who proved to be the dark horse of the group.

Faroe Islands were keen to have another good performance at the 10th IHF Men's Youth World Championship with a good opening of the game. However, the start showed a low effort from both sides before they tuned their engines. The European side were the first one to gain a significant lead, but Iran shifted from a 6-0 to 5-1 defence and made their first comeback.

In a display of remarkable strength, Amirhossein Karami leapt high from the nine-meter line and scored behind the goalkeeper's back. The score was tied (7:7), and it was clear that the Faroe Islands needed to display more confidence and determination in their play if they wanted to make a much-needed break.

It could have been a tie all the way to the half-time, but Iran's seven-against-six play proved to be a nightmare for them. Faroe Islands propelled to a three-goal run and set the new biggest difference in the game.

European debutants started the second half with a 3-0 goal run and improved their shooting efficiency. However, just like in the game against Sweden, Iran didn't let go of their fighting spirit and once again brought the game to an interesting finish.

With four consecutive goals, two from Amirhossein Masoudnia, Iran showed that they should never be written off. With 26:26 on the scoreboard and six minutes to go, it was obvious the Faroe Islands remembered what happened with Sweden.

It was almost the same finish. A hasty offence and faltering defensive display from the Faroe Islands allowed Iran to turn the game in their favour and end victoriously. Even nine goals from Oli Mittun were not enough for the European side who is now left in the third position of the group leaving all open in the battle for two main round spots.

hummel Player of the Match: Mehdi Moradi (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Photos: Croatia 2023/Kolektiff images