19 Nov. 2019
After 35 games in Samcheok, Korea Republic, Qatar’s Al-Arabi have won the 22nd AHF Men’s Asian Club League Championship.
The final day of competition (Sunday 17 November) saw the two medal matches, with the final featuring both winners of their respective preliminary groups facing off against each other.
And it was group A winners Al-Arabi who came from behind to beat Saudi Arabia’s Al-Wehda 21:19 (10:11). The first half saw the Saudi team go ahead in the seventh minute (3:2), and they led for the rest of the half, but whatever was said at the break did the trick for Al-Arabi’s defence and attack as Hani Kakhi – who plays beach handball for Qatar – scored twice in the first three minutes of the second period, putting his side ahead 12:11.
They were not caught again as they opened the half with a 4:0 run (14:11 – 8th minute) and restricted their opponents to just eight strikes in the second 30 minutes.
The result means that Al-Arabi not only became continental club champions out of 11 teams from eight countries in Korea, but have also booked a place at the IHF Men’s Super Globe in Saudi Arabia next year, a tournament in which their defeated final opponents finished fourth at earlier this year.
United Arab Emirates' Al-Sharja took bronze, defeating Qatar’s Al-Wakra 21:20 (11:10), despite eight goals from another Qatar beach handball player, Ahmed Morgan.
Saturday (16 November) had seen the 5-10 Placement Matches take place, while Friday (15 November) saw the first round of placement matches played and the two semi-finals as well, with Al-Arabi defeating Qatari rivals Al-Wakra 22:19 (10:10) and a high level of drama between Al-Wehda and Al-Sharja in the second semi-final as the Saudi side easily led 14:9 at the break but saw their UAE opponents come back strongly in the second period to take the game to additional time (24:24).
The first five-minute period was won by the Qataris, 3:1 with their opponents winning the second 4:3 thanks to a strike from Ali Mirza with 38 seconds remaining, but it was to prove not enough, and they lost 30:29 (6:5, 24:24, 14:9).
The final day saw a closing ceremony, complete with trophy and medal presentations for the top three teams, plus the ‘Best 7’ (All-star Team) and Most Valuable Player (MVP) selections awarded too.
Goalkeeper: #16 Mohamed AL-SALEM (Al-Wehda)
Line Player: #19 Mohamed MIRZA (Bar Bar)
Left Wing: #92 Anis ZOUAOUI (Al-Arabi - Qatar)
Left Back: #24 Wajdi SINEN (Al-Arabi - Qatar)
Centre Back: #90 Ali ZEIN (Al-Sharja)
Right Wing: #37 Junseok HEO (SK Hawks)
Right Back: #2 Abdullah AL-GHARABALLI (Kuwait)
MVP: #99 Husain AL-SAYYAD (Al-Wehda)
1- Al-Arabi (QAT)
2- Al-Wehda (KSA)
3 - Al-Sharja (UAE)
4 - Al-Wakra (QAT)
5 - SK Hawks (KOR)
6 - Al-Kuwait (KUW)
7 - Bar Bar (BRN)
8 - Oman (OMA)
9 - Foolad (IRI)
10 - Al-Arabi (KUW)
11 - Zagros (IRI)
Friday 15 November
9/10 Placement Match Play-Off: Zagros (IRI) vs Al-Arabi (KUW) 24:25 (11:11)
5-8 Placement Round: Kuwait (KUW) vs Oman Club (OMA) 35:23 (15:11)
5-8 Placement Round: Bar Bar (BRN) vs SK Hawks (KOR) 30:33 (13:19)
Semi-Final: Al-Arabi (QAT) vs Al-Wakra (QAT) 22:19 (10:10)
Semi-Final: Al-Wehda (KSA) vs Al-Sharja (UAE) 30:29 (14:9)
Saturday 16 November
9/10 Placement Match: Al-Arabi (KUW) vs Foolad (IRI) 22:28 (11:14)
7/8 Placement Match: Oman Club (OMA) vs Bar Bar (BRN) 23:25 (10:13)
5/6 Placement Match: Kuwait (KUW) vs SK Hawks (KOR) 24:30 (12:13)
Sunday 17 November
3/4 Placement Match (Bronze): Al-Wakra (QAT) vs Al-Sharja (UAE) 20:21 (10:11)
Final (Gold): Al-Arabi (QAT) vs Al-Wehda (KSA) 21:19 (10:11)
For a Preliminary Group review CLICK HERE.
Group A: SK Hawks (KOR), Zagros (IRI), Al-Arabi (QAT), Al-Kuwait (KUW), Al-Sharja (UAE)
Group B: Al-Wakra (QAT), Oman (OMA), Bar Bar (BRN), Al-Wehda (KSA), Al-Arabi (KUW), Foolad (IRI)
Al-Sharja vs SK Hawks 29:22 (14:12)
Al-Kuwait vs Zagros 36:24 (19:14)
Al-Kuwait vs SK Hawks 32:26 (16:12)
Al-Arabi (QAT) vs Zagros 40:24 (22:14)
Zagros vs Al-Sharja 24:31 (13:14)
Al-Kuwait Vs Al-Arabi (QAT) 21:27 (12:14)
Al-Arabi (QAT) vs SK Hawks 32:24 (18:13)
Al-Sharja vs Al-Kuwait 22:26 (7:12)
SK Hawks vs Zagros 35:22 (19:10)
Al-Sharja vs Al-Arabi (QAT) 29:27 (16:14)
Al-Wakra vs Foolad 33:31 (17:13)
Oman vs Al-Arabi (KUW) 28:22 (13:14)
Bar Bar vs Al-Wehda 22:24 (13:12)
Oman vs Bar Bar 22:23 (9:9)
Al-Arabi (KUW) vs Al-Wakra 26:34 (13:18)
Al-Wehda vs Foolad 34:29 (21:11)
Al-Wakra vs Al-Wehda 23:22 (11:12)
Foolad vs Oman 26:27 (11:13)
Bar Bar vs Al-Arabi (KUW) 31:28 (14:12)
Al-Arabi (KUW) vs Foolad 25:31 (9:18)
Bar Bar vs Al-Wakra 21:20 (10:11)
Al-Wehda vs Oman 27:20 (16:9)
Foolad vs Bar Bar 23:25 (9:14)
Al-Wakra vs Oman 31:19 (14:8)
Al-Wehda vs Al-Arabi (KUW) 29:23 (16:12)
Photo: Asian Handball Federation (AHF)