BAHRAIN made easy work of Chinese Taipei 37-21 yesterday to top Group ‘D’ at the end of the men’s handball preliminary round at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
The Bahrainis raced to an early lead and never looked back as they made it three wins out of three to complete their preliminary round campaign.
They now move on to the main round where they play another round-robin beginning on Monday.
There are four groups in the first stage with only the top two qualifying for the main round while the rest play for final classification.
Bahrain won the bronze at the previous Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. They are hoping to improve on that finish this year.
Bahrain got off to a hot start yesterday scoring five goals before Taipei could open their account.
They continued to build on their lead and were up 9-3 but Taipei fought back briefly to get to within four, 7-11.
But then the Bahrainis got back on track and stretched their advantage to 14-8 before Ali Merza’s last-gasp goal took them to 18-10 at half-time.
Early in the second-half, Bahrain built a double-digit lead at 21-11 and then made it 28-14 with a Hasan Al Fardan goal. It became 32-16 following a Komail Mahfoodh nine-footer.
The Bahrainis cruised to the finish from there on.
Hasan Alsamahiji was Bahrain’s top scorer with six goals. Three players added five, including skipper Hussain Al Sayyad, Mahmood Abdulqader and Mohamed Ahmed while scoring three goals were Ali Salman and Merza.
Mohamed Merza, Husain Mohamed, Bilal Askani, Mahfoodh and Al Fardan scored two goals each.
Joining Bahrain in the main round from Group ‘D’ were Iraq, who beat India 40-29 in the other clash yesterday.
Advancing from Group ‘A’ were defending champions Qatar and Iran, from Group ‘B’ South Korea and Japan and from Group ‘C’ Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.
In the main round, Bahrain are in Division Two along with South Korea, Iran and Hong Kong. Division One comprises Qatar, Saudi, Japan and Iraq.
Bahrain’s first game in the main round will be against Iran on Monday. They then play South Korea on Wednesday and Hong Kong on Friday next week.
The top two teams in each division move on to the knockout semi-finals.
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