Paraguay strike gold at 2023 SCA Women’s Central American Handball Championship

06 Mar. 2023

Paraguay strike gold at 2023 SCA Women’s Central American Handball Championship

Paraguay delivered a vintage performance, securing five wins in five matches at the 2023 SCA Women’s Central American Handball Championship, clinching the trophy and subsequently qualifying for the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship, their fifth berth in history.

Led by one of the most decorated and experienced players in the team’s history, Marizza Faría, who was named the coach of the squad in 2022, Paraguay had no opponent to clinch the trophy, dominating their opponents clearly throughout the competition hosted by Nicaragua’s capital Managua.

The South American side went off with a big win in the first round of the round-robin competition, which saw six teams fight for the trophy, against Costa Rica (35:13). A 44:28 win over hosts Nicaragua set up another excellent performance against El Salvador (43:15).

The next win against Guatemala (49:18) helped Paraguay seal one of the top two places in the competition, subsequently clinching the berth for the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship, with the first two teams in the standings progressing to the competition scheduled to be played in November and December in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The last match was supposed to be a South American derby against Chile, but Marizza Faría’s team left no hope to their opponents, dominating from start to finish. After boasting a 16:6 lead at the break, Paraguay doubled down in the second half, eventually clinching the trophy with a 31:17 win.

Chile was the second side to progress to the 2023 IHF women’s World Championship after finishing second in the competition, with wins over Guatemala (37:20), El Salvador (37:13), Costa Rica (35:12) and Nicaragua (47:34).

The loss against Paraguay meant that Chile finished second in the 2023 SCA Women’s Central American Handball Championship but still sealed their berth for Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023, marking a return after a 14-year wait to the world handball flagship competition.

Two other sides – Nicaragua and Costa Rica – earned their tickets for the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games after finishing third and fourth in the competition respectively, where they will try to earn a ticket for the Panamerican Games, due to be held later this year.

19 teams have now qualified for the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship after Paraguay and Chile clinched their berths. Co-hosts Denmark, Norway and Sweden are joined by three European sides – France, Montenegro and the Netherlands -, four African sides – Angola, Congo, Cameroon and Senegal – five Asian sides – the People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea – and two South American sides – Brazil and Argentina.

Photo: Handball SC America – Coscabal