03 Aug. 2019
After impressive performances in their quarter- and semi-final matches at the 1st IHF Women’s Super Globe in Wuxi, Chinese National Team and Agosto Luanda will meet to decide the title in the ultimate match of the maiden championship. It should be a thrilling intercontinental clash, as the African champions take on the co-host team on Sunday 4 August.
Chinese National Club (CHN) vs Agosto Luanda (ANG)
Wuxi Sports Hall, 20:45 local time
The historic first trophy at the IHF Women’s Super Globe will be raised by either African champions Agosto Luanda or co-hosts Chinese National Club on Sunday evening. Unlike the Men’s Super Globe final, which has been contested between two European clubs for the past four editions, the 1st Women’s Super Globe title will be a never-before-seen intercontinental spectacle for handball fans across the globe.
The semi-finals showed the high quality of both clubs battling for the trophy – as well as those that will play for bronze, A.A. UnC Concordia and OMRON. The competition will therefore conclude with a truly thrilling final day fitting of the momentous occasion the championship represents.
Luanda reached the final thanks to a decisive victory over Jiangsu Team (41:20) in the quarter-final and a 20:17 result against Concordia in the semi. They have shown great form, with a powerful team that can afford full rotation and some great individuals, including Helena Gilda Simao Paulo, who was the top scorer of last year’s Junior World Championship in Hungary.
Luanda can also count on one of the top scorers of this competition, Cristiane Mwasesa, who often substitutes on as a specialist in offence. In defence, their combination of tall, strong players and smaller more agile players is difficult to beat – and they can rely on outstanding goalkeepers behind them. Helena Sousa enters the final with an average 50% save rate, after playing most of the quarter-final, while Eleneidys Lioveras was the star of the semi-final, with 10 saves at 38% in that match.
Luanda showed from the start that they have the ability to take the trophy. Now they need to finish the task, and they certainly seem capable of overthrowing the home team in the final match.
CNC had to work hard for their quarter-final win (24:21) versus Kaysar Club and also their semi-final victory against OMRON. Indeed, CNC had to come back from a five-goal deficit in the first half to take the 30:25 win versus the Japanese side. They have had a far more difficult journey to the final than Luanda – whether it is the quality of the opponents or of their own team is the question to be answered on Sunday.
For CNC, the top scorer is Ru Qiao, who also plays a key role in the middle of the defence. Their goalkeeper, Yu Rou Yang, is the fourth-ranked in terms of number of saves, with a total of 19 across the two games so far.
Concordia and OMRON fight for last silverware
After narrow defeats in their semi-finals, Brazil’s Concordia and Japan’s OMRON will play for bronze at 18:30 local time in Wuxi. While Concordia drastically improved their form from the quarter-final and really challenged Luanda in the semi-final, OMRON have been quality from the start.
It will be a match headlined by speed and solid back courts, while Concordia’s Maite Lima Dias will be a key factor for her side in defence. She enters the bronze-medal game with an impressive average 41% save rate. For OMRON, the top scorer of the competition, Yukiko Yoshida (20 goals), will likely be the biggest danger for Concordia’s defence.
Placement matches open the day
The final day at the 1st IHF Women’s Super Globe will begin with the 5-8 placement matches. At 16:15 local time, Kazakhstan’s Kaysar Club will meet Jiangsu Team in the fight for fifth place. Kaysar were unlucky to be defeated by CNC in their quarter-final, and their strength indicates they are likely to have the upper hand in this encounter.
The 7/8 play-off will see both New York City Team Handball Club and University of Queensland looking for their first win at the IHF Super Globe. Both have suffered decisive defeats, but appear to be well-matched ahead of this clash, throwing off the day at 14:00 local time. UQ can rely on the goalkeeper with the most saves in the competition – Jemima Harbort, with 21.