BAHRAIN suffered a disheartening 27-29 loss to Portugal last night in their second match of the International Handball Federation (IHF) Men’s Junior World Handball Championship 2019, being played in Spain.
For the second successive game, the Bahrainis were right in the mix against heavily favoured rivals, but could not come up with the key plays in the end.
The nationals had lost their opening contest to Hungary by just four goals, and this time put in a stronger fight towards the end.
Bahrain were down seven, 20-27, with just 10 minutes to go, but managed to score another seven goals and concede just two to bring down the losing margin.
It was a valiant effort for the Bahrainis, who are coached by Halldor Johann Sigfusson from Iceland.
The victorious Portuguese were also in control at the half, holding a slim 15-12 lead.
Mahmood Mohamed top scored for Bahrain with seven goals. Hasan Ali added another four, while Ahmed Ali and Abdulla Ali scored three apiece. Yusuf Alqasimi and Mohamed Mohamed each converted twice, while rounding out the scorers with a goal apiece were Husain Mahfood, Moayed Shuaib, Wasim Qambar, Ahmed Fadhul, Qasim Alshuwaikh and Mujtaba Alzaimoor.
Diogo Silva was the leading man for Portugal, scoring 11 goals. Leonel Fernandes added another seven in the win.
Bahrain’s next game will be against Brazil today. The match is scheduled to get underway at 9.30pm, Bahrain time. They then play Croatia on Sunday before closing out their first round campaign against Kosovo the next day.
There are four groups in all in the opening phase. Group ‘A’ includes hosts and defending champions Spain, Slovenia, Serbia, Tunisia, Japan and the US. Group ‘B’ features France, Egypt, Sweden, Nigeria, South Korea and Australia. Group ‘D’ is composed of Germany, Iceland, Norway, Argentina, Denmark and Chile.
The top four teams in each group at the end of the preliminaries move on to the Round of 16. The remaining sides will play in the classification stage.