IFES Neuquén dominant on Argentina sand again

23 Feb. 2021

IFES Neuquén dominant on Argentina sand again

The men’s and women’s IFES teams from Neuquén continued their recent domination of Argentina’s beach handball scene, winning the 2021 ‘Confederación Argentina de Handball (CAH) Copa Argentina’ yesterday.

Their double victory in the Copa Argentina (Argentina Cup) follows their success last year in the inaugural edition, but this year was slightly different as the preceding beach handball regional circuit was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The 2021 edition of the Copa Argentina featured a total of 31 teams (15 women’s, 16 men’s) competing across 94 games on the famous beach of tourist town Puerto Madryn in the southern province of Chubut in Patagonia from 19 to 21 February.

The preliminary round saw four men’s groups of four teams each and three women’s groups of three teams each competing. 

The top two in each men’s group then went through to the quarter-finals, then semi-final and medal matches, while the women’s competition saw IFES and Goliat directly book their tickets through to the semi-finals as the best two teams in the preliminary round, with the next four teams playing two quarter-finals to make it through to the last four.

The men’s semi-finals saw VILO, made up of men’s national team players Alejo Novillo, Francisco Rosetto, Fernando López, Damián Bermudez, Gustavo Olivero and Daniel Rodriguez, beat Panteras Patagones 2-0 to book their final ticket, while IFES, featuring Argentina national team players Nicolás Millet and Francisco Muller, beat Sol de Mayo and their fellow national teammate, Nahuel Baptista.

The final went to a shoot-out with IFES coming from one period down to draw level and then defeat VILO 2-1, with Panteras Patagones seeing off Sol de Mayo by the same score in the bronze medal match.

The women’s competition saw a dominant IFES – featuring national team players Lucila Balsas, Gisella Bonomi, Agustina Mamet and Fiorella Corimberto – win all six of their games 2-0 to take the title again, defeating Goliat in the final.

Fellow national team player Carolina Ponce and her Panteras Patagones team were no match in the semi-finals against the eventual winners, but overcame Arena Madryn, who featured another Argentina women’s national team player in Ivana Eliges, 2-1, in the bronze-medal match. 

National TV station Deportv broadcast the two finals on Sunday as well as two quarter-final matches on Saturday as the CAH – helped by the sunny weather – showcased the exciting sport in the very best possible way.

In addition to the match action, national coaches Sebastián Ferraro and Salvador Comparone, as well as the former women’s team captain Florencia Ibarra, offered a variety of coaching clinics for those involved in the competition.

“We just had some excellent finals and are really happy,” said CAH President Mario Moccia after the finals. “We are really thankful for all the support we received from Chubut Province, the Puerto Madryn Municipality, local federations and sponsors.

“With their help we managed to make this happen in such a difficult moment we are going through because of the pandemic and our hope is that this can be the key to restarting handball activity.”


Women’s Competition
Team Name (Province)

1 IFES de Neuquén (Neuquén)
2 Goliat (Río Negro)
3 Panteras de Patagones (Buenos Aires)
4 Arena Madryn (Chubut)
5 UCASAL University (Neuquén)
6 Cumehue de Trelew (Chubut)
7 Peñaflor (San Juan)
8 Municipality of Viedma (Río Negro)
9 ABC - Asoc. Handball Centenario (Neuquén)
10 Río Grande de Neuquén (Neuquén)
11 Independiente de Trelew (Chubut)
12 Viedmense Handball Association (Río Negro)
13 CEF 26 de Trelew (Chubut)
14 Municipal School Huergo (Chubut)
15 Tunkelele de Pico Truncado (Santa Cruz)

Men’s Competition
Team Name (Province)

1 IFES de Neuquén (Neuquén)
2 VILO (Buenos Aires)
3 Panteras de Patagones (Buenos Aires)
4 Sol de Mayo (Río Negro)
5 CEF 26 de Trelew (Chubut)
6 Vial San Juan (San Juan)
7 Independiente de Neuquén (Neuquén)
8 ABC - Asoc. Handball Centenario (Neuquén)
9 Goliat (Río Negro)
10 CPEF N.3 de Concepción de Uruguay (Entre Ríos)
11 Pico Truncado (Santa Cruz)
12 Muzio (Chubut)
13 Grilli de Madryn (Chubut)
14 Trapem de General Roca (Río Negro)
15 Balonmano Las Heras (Santa Cruz)
16 Arena Madryn (Chubut)