Cape Verde Handball National Team
The Pharaohs of Egypt had to dig deep, under intended pressure to beat Maghreb rivals, the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia 29-27 to reach the final of the 2nd African Men’s Senior Handball Championship, which ends in Cairo tonight.
After 15 minutes played, the scoreboard still read a one-goal advantage for Egypt at 10-9, meaning the last quarter will always be to the advantage of the tournament hosts.
The Tunisians realized for the first time that they can mount a challenge at the 23rd minute when it was (13-13) and at the 25th min they led (14-13); then at the 26th, it was (15-14) in their favour.
El Deraa Yehia in the position of center forward allowed the Egyptians to equalize 16-16 (29th); and there was a precious goal from Omar Yahia who exploited the 4 seconds that remained of the game time, to make it (17-16) at halftime in favor of the Pharaohs.
At the restart, it is the Egyptians who will be on the attack. They take advantage of the errors in defense of the opponent to put 3 goals. 24-20 after 15 mins.
The Pharaohs, rated as the fourth best handball side in the world by the International Handball Federation, should thank Yahia Omar who was elected man of the match. Egypt joined Cape Verde in the final scheduled for this Monday night.
Cape Verde were through to the final a day earlier, after the Blue Sharks defeated the Atlas Lions of Morocco by 23-19 goals in a keenly contested first semifinal decided on Saturday.
At halftime, the young and talented Cape Verde side led by 11-9 goals, and they were able to keep their composure to hand the Atlas Lions of Morocco an upset defeat.
Nigeria Lose Presidents Cup to Gabon
Meanwhile, Nigeria on Saturday afternoon defeated Senegal to make it two wins in as many classification games.
Goalkeeper, Olatunde Adams was voted man of the match, as Nigeria’s Golden Arrows defeated the Lions of Senegal 31-22, having led 13-9 at halftime.
With both victories, Nigeria which finished top of Classification Group 1, will go on to face Gabon, winners of Classification Group 2 to determine the 9th and 10th placed teams.
Like Nigeria, the Panthers of Gabon finished top of Group 2 of the Classifications from 9th to 14th.
Nigeria’s Golden Arrows finished a disappointing 10th, in their last Africa Handball Nations Cup, in 2019.
After two defeats against Guinea and Algeria in the group phase, Gabon, thrashed Nigeria 27-18 to lift the President’s Cup reserved for teams that failed to make it to the top 8.
The Panthers had earlier in the tournament, defeated the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun before beating Nigeria in the final; which they led 16-12.
The success meant Gabon won the President’s Cup and finished 9th out of 13 nations present, while Nigeria again settled a disappointing 10th – the same position they finished in their last outing in 2019.
Reporting by Chinedum Ohanusi; editing by Abdullahi Lamino