President’s Cup: In what should become the battle of the goalkeepers, Austria claim the victory

20 Jan. 2019

President’s Cup: In what should become the battle of the goalkeepers, Austria claim the victory

Bahrain - Austria 27:29 (17:17)

Bahrain and Austria were the teams to battle it out in the third President’s Cup match in Royal Arena on Sunday. The 19th spot was at stake for the winning team.

Both teams scored within the first two minutes of the game. And in general, the teams followed each other all the way through the first five minutes.

Within the first ten minutes of the match the lead in the game kept changing between the teams. Neither of them had more than a one-goal lead until Sebastian Frimmel scored in an empty goal for the 7:5. Bahrain managed to take back control and equalise.

At the halfway marker in the first half, Austria again took the lead and at the same time both teams received a two-minute suspension. Austria took advantage of Bahrain’s empty goal twice when Bilyk and Frimmel both scored to make it 10:7.

Overall, the first half was characterised by a lot of two-minute suspension.  With two minutes left of the first 30 minutes, Mohamed Habib from Bahrain scored on a penalty and in the following attack Austria missed the chance to score, which gave the Arabian team a chance to level the game. With only three seconds left on the clock Bahrain scored: 17:17 at halftime.

Bahrain took the lead within the first minute of the second half followed by a save from their goalkeeper Husain Mahfoodh. Thomas Bauer in the Austrian team followed the example of his Bahraini colleague in the subsequent attack. The ‘goalkeeper show’ continued as Mahfoodh saved a penalty that could otherwise have levelled the game. At the other end, Bauer used the edge of his foot to keep Bahrain from expanding the lead.

More than once, Thomas Bauer had the crowd applauding. He received the greatest ovations when he managed to run from the bench and save a shot that would otherwise have gone into an empty goal.

After ten minutes of play in the second half, the score was 19:22 for Austria. This made Bahrain call for a time-out. After the time-out Bahrain’s number 18 Ahmed Jalal scored with a cheeky lob to bring his side within one goal of Austria.

With ten minutes left, Thomas Bauer yet again kept Bahrain from equalising and at the other end Mahfoodh kept Austria from increasing the lead to two goals (24:25).

Two successive attacks and a penalty from Bahrain altered the score and suddenly they found themselves leading by two goals with only eight minutes left of the game (27:25).

Thomas Bauer came up with an important save in minute 24, which gave Austria the possibility to even out the score. Janko Bozovic got the goal for Austria and the score was 27:27.

From now on Austria never looked back, and the Europeans took the win.

Austria claim 19th spot, while Bahrain finish 20th.


hummel Player of the Match: Robert Weber (AUT)


Statements after the match

Patrekur Jóhannesson, Austria coach: I knew it would be a difficult game and we all saw how important our goalkeeper was. We have to work hard from now on to do better, it was not a great championship for us.

Aron Kristjansson, Bahrain Coach: We are satisfied with the performance today. We played well in the attack and many players did a good job. After the game yesterday were our first goal keeper was injured. Luckily, we had a young goal keeper who was ready to take over.

Sebastian Frimmel, Austria: It was a good fight from Bahrain, but Thomas Bauer made a very big difference for us. We will have to work hard to get a better result next year.

Mahfoodh Husain, Bahrain: We are happy about what we achieved in this tournament. We tried to get the 19th position but it did not happen.