Argentina reach main round after hard-fought win
17 Jan. 2021
Without Diego Simonet, Argentina struggled against Bahrain but ultimately claimed their second win in the championship, becoming the first Group D team to advance to the main round.
Bahrain have no points, but the Asian team still have a chance to go through provided they beat DR Congo in their last group match on Tuesday.
Argentina vs Bahrain 24:21 (12:10)
Diego Simonet, who is seen as the biggest star of Argentina, was rested after he suffered a minor injury in the previous match against DR Congo, and coach Manolo Cadenas did not want to risk his health.
The opening minutes featured a tight fight, as the teams exchanged goals and were level at 4:4 10 minutes into the game.
However, Argentina started to pull away and were soon leading by four (10:6) thanks to Federico Pizarro’s excellent performance both in attack and defence.
Bahrain made many technical mistakes and their attacking efficiency left much to be desired. Besides, they got many two-minute suspensions, which overall helped the South American side to go into half-time with a 12:10 lead.
However, Bahrain significantly improved after the break, as they stood more compact in defence, and their goalkeeper recorded several saves.
As a result, the Asian side seized the initiative and led by three goals midway through the second half (20:17).
“We really wanted to win and played 23 or 24 very good minutes, so I’m disappointed that we could not earn two points. However, we still have a chance to qualify,” said Bahrain’s coach Halldor Sigfusson.
However, Argentina weathered the storm and were fully dominant in the last quarter of the match, as they conceded only one goal during that period and ultimately earned a 24:21 victory.
hummel Player of the Match: Federico Pizarro, Argentina