25 Sep. 2023
Egypt have confirmed their outstanding domination at the CAHB African Youth Women’s Handball Championship, extending their unbeaten streak to 33 matches, and clinching their fifth title in a row in superb fashion, after taking the gold medal in the 19th edition of the continental competition, which took place in Monastir, Tunisia, between 16 and 23 September.
Eight teams lined up at the start of the competition, with two groups of four teams each in the preliminary round, as all the sides progressed to the quarter-finals, yet the battle for the first two places, which created a bigger chance of progression to the semi-finals, was on from the start.
Reigning champions Egypt were drawn into Group B, alongside Angola, Morocco and DR Congo, while hosts Tunisia faced Guinea, Nigeria and Algeria, in a well-balanced group, where the margins were fine and the little details created the difference.
While Egypt conceded only 35 goals in the group phase, they did not have the best goal difference or the best attack, with Angola taking that spot, after they scored 97 goals and had a goal difference of +44, in spite of their loss against their big rivals.
Egypt took a 25:23 win in the last game of the group, which proved to be pivotal, as they thoroughly dominated their opponents, with Angola coming second and Morocco third, after their 29:15 win over DR Congo.
In Group A, Guinea had two wins – 23:20 against Nigeria and 29:17 against Algeria – but drew the first match against Tunisia, 18:18, enough to clinch the first place in the group and set up a better bracket on their way to the second final in a row in the CAHB African Youth Women’s Handball Championship.
There were no surprises in the quarter-finals, with Egypt taking a clear 30:18 win over Algeria, followed by Guinea, with a 34:14 win over DR Congo and Nigeria with a 28:14 win over Morocco. The tightest match was the one between Angola and hosts Tunisia, with Angola clinching a 21:17 win, after the first half yielded only 16 goals, with a 9:7 lead for Angola.
As Egypt strolled over Nigeria, 32:18, in the first semi-final, Guinea had no issues against Angola, thoroughly dominating the semi-final, with a clear 25:21 win, making the final for the second time in a row, after they had lost against Egypt in the final of the last edition, in 2022.
While that game ended with Egypt’s 35:31 win, this time around, the gap was even bigger. The reigning champions led by four goals at the break, 11:7, but the second half was pretty much flawless, as they conceded only nine times, on their way to a clear 29:16 win.
Not only Egypt extended their winning streak to 33 games in the competition, they also created history, winning the title for the fifth time in a row, an outstanding feature, beating the previous record of three titles in a row set by Angola between 2009 and 2013.
Nigeria clinched the bronze medal with a 28:24 win over Angola, only their second medal in history and the first in 23 years, as they aim to become a better side in the future.
Photo: Tunisian Handball Federation