USA seal dramatic first win, Angola, Argentina and Cuba also clinch third places in the President’s Cup
26 Jun. 2023
Angola, Argentina and the United States of America each secured their first wins at the 24th IHF Men’s Junior World Championship, finishing on the third place in their respective groups of the President’s Cup at Germany/Greece 2023.
The most dramatic win was the USA’s one against Libya, as the African side missed a one-on-one chance to tie the game in the last second, with Danilo Rojevic’s team clinching a 25:24 win.
Argentina (43:21 against Greenland) and Angola (43:27 against Costa Rica) controlled their matches and look favoured to finish somewhere between the 25th and 28th places at the end of the competition.
Chile saved a draw against Cuba (25:25), with Luciano Scaramelli scoring a last-gasp penalty, but Cuba finished third with two points after their second draw in a row, with both sides still searching for their first win.
- Group I
United States of America vs Libya 25:24 (14:10)
Libya’s goalkeeper, Abd Alraouf Alabasi, had a perfect start to the game, saving four shots for a 57% saving efficiency, as the USA were left reeling in attack, with their speed clearly hampering the efforts to score.
But the African side, depleted by a wave of injuries, could not sustain the same rhythm throughout the whole of the first half, as the USA started to improve, with a 4:1 run turning the game on its head and handing the American team the first lead (6:5).
Back Benjamin Edwards and wing Loic Karrer were responsible for their team’s excellent run to close the first 30 minutes. Libya failed to produce something in attack, as more and more shots did not find their target and the number of turnovers ballooned.
With 13 lost balls in attack, Libya were down four goals at the break and needed a significant improvement to take the win. That improvement came, but Libya would have needed to create even more to finish the job.
Winning the turnover battle was key for the USA side, with a topsy-turvy second half for both teams. Libya managed to cut the gap to a single goal multiple times, but each time they failed to tie the game and apply the needed pressure on the American team.
Yet the fantastic Abdullah Hireebish, who finished the game with 13 goals, could not help his side break the losing streak, which is now at five games, after the USA eventually clinched a 25:24 win, a crucial one in sealing the third place in the group, after goalkeeper Mohmoud Hashim saved a one-on-one shot with Wael Irwayhah in the last second of the game.
The USA team won their second game in history at the IHF Men’s Junior World Championship and will face Costa Rica, as this is now also the first time in history that the USA created a two-game unbeaten streak. On the other hand, Libya, which fought admirably, but lost their fifth game in a row, ended up on the last place in the group and will play against fellow African side Angola.
hummel Player of the Match: Abdullah Hireebish (Libya)
- Group II
Costa Rica vs Angola 27:43 (12:19)
Angola confirmed their status as favourites against debutants Costa Rica and celebrated their first win at the IHF Men's Junior World Championship. Nevertheless, both sides will continue their journey at Germany/Greece 2023 in the games against Libya and the United States of America.
Costa Rica had enough strength to keep up for 15 minutes when Angola made a 4-0 goal run and were in front by six. Angola had a shot efficiency of 83% and a comfortable lead even with zero saves from the goalkeepers in the first half.
Centre back Gabriel Garcia Sebastiao was the main Angolan force, scoring eight goals in the first half and in the second part, head coach Wiliam António Sebastiao De Almeida gave an opportunity to all the players. Costa Rica were trailing throughout, yet their goalkeeper Víctor Manuel Gómez Viales and right back Erick Andrey Suárez Matarrita shone for their side.
Even though they were trailing more and more with each minute, Costa Rica's spirit never faltered. They were determined to show their best handball while gaining valuable experience. They dream of their first-ever win and they want to achieve it in the games against USA. Angola, with seven goals of Cristovao Teca Lisboa in the second half, cruised to the victory and secured their biggest win.
hummel Player of the Match: Gabriel Garcia Sebastiao (Angola)
- Group III
Argentina vs Greenland 43:21 (21:13)
After several good games over the last rounds, Argentina’s top scorer, Martin Nicolas Jung, produced another gem in the game against Greenland, the first win at Germany/Greece 2023 for the Argentina side, one which was eagerly awaited by the South American team.
Jung jumped straight on the second position in the top goal scorer standings, with a 36-goal tally, after his impressive performance against Greenland, where he led Argentina with a 16-goal performance, being virtually impossible to stop at times, also adding six assists to his outing.
The back was crucial in setting up a 7:3 run to start the game for the South American side, which turned into an eight-goal lead at the break (21:13), as Greenland once again struggled to find an answer in defence to their opponents.
The team with the largest number of conceded goals per game at Germany/Greece 2023, Greenland, which had 52 conceded goals per game before the match, managed to weather the storm, conceding the lowest number of goals so far in the competition in the 21:43 loss. Still, gaining a foothold in the game was difficult, especially as tired legs appeared in the second half.
Eventually, Argentina sealed their first win at the 24th IHF Men’s Junior World Championship and will face Chile, while Greenland are still looking for their first win in the competition, riding a five-game losing streak before their game against Cuba on Wednesday.
hummel Player of the Match: Martin Nicolas Jung (Argentina)
- Group IV
Chile vs Cuba 25:25 (13:11)
Chile and Cuba were determined to claim their first win at the championship – but ultimately, they shared spoils. The result means that Cuba ranked third in the group with two points, while Chile finished fourth with one point.
In the last minute, Cuba were closer to their first-ever win at this level, as goalkeeper Esniel Negret scored a goal from his half to put them in front, 25:24, with 28 seconds left. However, Chile earned a 7m shot in the remaining time, and Luciano Scaramelli converted it in the last second.
In fact, the South Americans had an advantage for most of the game. Chile enjoyed a better shot efficiency (68%) compared to Cuba’s 60%, and their goalkeeper Esteban Menanteau recorded 12 saves. The teams were level at 7:7 in the 19th minute, but then the Chileans had a 4:0 run, which helped them to a 13:11 lead at half-time.
After the break, Chile constantly led by one or two goals, while the Cubans, whose goalkeeping left much to be desired, could not draw level. However, Cuba’s Maiko Vazques performed well, ending the game with nine goals. A 5:2 run between minutes 54 and 60 powered the Caribbean team to a 25:24 lead, but in the end they had to settle for the second straight draw.
hummel Player of the Match: Maiko Vazques (Cuba)