Poland, Kuwait and Norway all seal big wins at the start of the President’s Cup
25 Jun. 2023
The teams which failed to make it into the main round at Germany/Greece 2023 have started their adventure in the President’s Cup, with four of them sealing big wins in Magdeburg, Hanover and Athens in the first matches.
The biggest gap was secured by Norway, with a 47:21 win over Greenland. Kuwait (38:26 against Angola) and Poland (37:17 against Libya) also sealed big wins to throw off their groups.
Morocco and Cuba shared the spoils in another game, after a nail-biting game which saw them finish in a deadlock, 24:24.
- Group I
Poland vs Libya 37:17 (21:7)
Shaking off the pain of the loss against France from the last game in the preliminary round would always be difficult. However, Poland still picked themselves up and delivered a strong performance against Libya, taking their second win at Germany/Greece 2023 so far.
Hit by injuries and physical problems for their players, Libya could only stay close to Poland for seven minutes (4:3) when they lost another player due to injury, Ahmed Abdalla, who scored two of those goals.
A flurry of fast breaks converted by Poland, who had wings Szymon Wiaderny and Tomasz Kosznik, who combined for 12 goals during the game, helped the European side create a wider and wider gap, especially with an 8:2 run in the middle of the second half, as Libya got more and more tired.
Eventually, Poland snatched their second win at Germany/Greece 2023 (37:17), while Libya were handed their fourth loss and will live to fight another big game on Monday, where they need to win against the United States of America, to avoid finishing up in the Placement Matches 29/32.
On the other hand, the European side will face Algeria in the last game of the President’s Cup, but they will be favoured to clinch the first place in the group and fight for the title awarded to the team, which finishes 17th.
hummel Player of the Match: Szymon Wiaderny (Poland)
- Group II
Kuwait vs Angola 38:26 (23:15)
Kuwait extended their winning streak and kept their first spot in group II with a maximum of four points. The team is on a good way to their fourth-best rank in the IHF Men's Junior World Championship history, especially after the 20th place in their last appearance in 2013.
Angola kept it close for the first 15 minutes of the game even though they had a lead only once. Kuwait's goalkeeper Hamad Aldashti had a good start but his unfortunate injury in the 12th minute shook his teammates for a moment, giving Angola a chance to close the gap to one (6:7). However, Ahmad Aljuwaieed stepped into the scene and with a few saves gave a good wind in the back to the players.
Right back Ali Jaafar was unstoppable, netting nine times in the first half, allowing his team to gain a significant lead by half-time. Angola were struggling in the attack as only Ruben Gonçalves Ledi José was able to score more than two, and the defence didn't have a solution for Kuwait's play.
You cannot expect a great outing when your goalkeepers have only two saves in the game. On top of that, Ali Jaafar and Saif Aldawani were playing with Angola's defence, netting together 20 goals in the game. Angola is still without a win at the competition, and the current result will bring them their worst rank at the competition – in three previous participations, they were 19th and twice 21st.
hummel Player of the Match: Saif Aldawani (Kuwait)
- Group III
Norway vs Greenland 47:21 (24:10)
After a heavy defeat at the hands of Bahrain in the last game of the preliminary round, Greenland eyed a better outing against Norway, and they duly fulfilled their objective, even if they still lost by a big margin (26 goals), yet they managed to stay close to their opponents, at least in the first half.
Centre back Aleksander Hoiness ran the show for the European side in the first half. He extended his excellent run of form in the second part of the game, finishing with seven goals and seven assists, having a direct hand in 30% of Norway’s goals in the game.
The gap increased in the second half, with the hummel Player of the match, Erlend Johnsen, scoring eight goals for Norway, as Greenland still found it hard to compete throughout the whole 60 minutes.
However, they conceded the lowest number of goals so far at Germany/Greece 2023, but they still are searching for their first win after conceding four losses in a row. On the other hand, Norway are a step closer to winning the group, but everything will be decided on Monday when they face Slovenia in the last game of this group of the President’s Cup.
hummel Player of the Match: Erlend Johnsen (Norway)
- Group IV
Morocco vs Cuba 24:24 (13:13)
In a hard-fought game, the debutants Cuba claimed their first-ever point in the World Championship history, sharing spoils with Morocco. The Africans now have three points in the President's Cup group IV, while Cuba have one point, so both rivals can hope to reach the Placement Matches 17-24.
Morocco conceded the fewest goals at the preliminary stage among all teams who failed to reach the main round. However, the Cubans also improved their defence as the tournament progressed. And on Sunday, the goalkeepers of both teams did a good job.
Following a slow start, Youssef El Mouaddar improved greatly, ending the game with 14 saves and a 37% saving efficiency And while Cuba actively used both goalkeepers, Esniel Negret excelled, boasting a 53% saving efficiency.
The sides exchanged goals in the opening 10 minutes before Morocco took the initiative and built up a 10:7 lead. The Africans were still in front in the 21st minute when Abdellah Razgui scored the 12:10, but Cuba responded with a 3:0 run.
Then both rivals failed to score for nearly seven minutes, as they lost many balls. However, Achraf Eladich's goal in the last second of the first half made the teams level again (13:13).
El Mouaddar's saves helped Morocco to a 4:0 run between minutes 39 and 42, which pulled the Africans ahead 20:16. They seemed to be on their way to a victory, but the Cubans disagreed with it. Led by Andro Gonzales, their top scorer with six goals, the Caribbean side salvaged a historic draw, as Rolando Mendez sealed the final 24:24 score almost two minutes from full-time.
hummel Player of the Match: Youssef El Mouaddar (Morocco)