Bahrain suffered their second consecutive defeat at the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship going down 21-24 to Argentina in their Group D game last night.
Argentina, who led 12-10 at half-time, became the first team in the group to advance to the main round.
The opening minutes featured a tight fight, as the teams exchanged goals and were level at 4-4 10 minutes into the game.
However, Argentina started to pull away and were soon leading by four (10-6) thanks to Federico Pizarro’s excellent performance both in attack and defence.
Bahrain made many technical mistakes and got many two-minute suspensions, which overall helped the South American side to go into half-time with a 12-10 lead.
However, Bahrain significantly improved after the break, as they stood more compact in defence, and their goalkeeper recorded several saves.
As a result, Bahrain seized the initiative and led by three goals midway through the second half (20-17).
However, Argentina weathered the storm and were fully dominant in the last quarter of the match, as they conceded only one goal during that period and ultimately earned a 24-21 victory.
“We really wanted to win and played 23 or 24 very good minutes, so I’m disappointed that we could not earn two points. However, we still have a chance to qualify,” said Bahrain’s coach Halldor Sigfusson.
Last night’s defeat has dampened Bahrain’s hopes of qualifying for the main round. They had lost the opener against defending champions Denmark 20-34.
Last night’s victory has taken Argentina, who had defeated DR Congo 28-22 in the opener, to the top of the standings with four points.
Bahrain will play their third and final game in the preliminary round against DR Congo tomorrow. They need a win to qualify for the main round as one of the top three teams in the group.
The team finishing last in each group will compete for the President’s Cup.