BAHRAIN suffered another big defeat last night in the 26th International Handball Federation (IHF) World Men’s Championship.
The nationals bowed to European heavyweights Croatia 20-32.
The Bahrainis were unable to match their highly favoured rivals, as they were dealt a fourth straight loss in Group ‘B’ of the competition’s preliminary round, which is being hosted by Denmark and Germany.
Bahrain play their final game of this stage today, and they hope to claim a victory as they take on fellow-Asian side Japan in Munich. The match is scheduled for a 5.30pm start, Bahrain time.
Croatia took control of yesterday’s contest early and never wavered. The Bahrainis still battled hard and head coach Aron Kristjansson gave some valuable playing time to his younger internationals. They did not disappoint as they showed glimpses of their immense potential although could not keep up with their more experienced European opponents.
The Croatians built a commanding 19-9 lead at the end of the first half, and did well to maintain that advantage until the final buzzer.
Ahmed Jalal scored five goals to lead Bahrain in the loss. Skipper Hussain Al Sayyad added four, while Bilal Basham had three. Ali Merza scored two goals, while contributing one apiece were Hasan Al Samahiji, Ahmed Husain, Mohamed Merza, Hasan Madan, Mahdi Saad and Mohamed Habib.
Player of the Match Manuel Strlek paced Croatia with an impressive 11 goals, while Ivan Vida and Damir Bicanic had five each.