Handball semis cast complete
By PATRICK SALOMON
THE semi-final line-up for the second World Youth Handball Championship was completed last night, with European powerhouses Croatia, Denmark and debutants Sweden making it through along with South Americans Argentina. Croatia and Argentina narrowly sealed their berths and advance from quarter-final group 'I' after the Croats overcame Poland 27-25 in a winner-take-all affair, while the Argentines overcame a half-time deficit to defeat Spain 32-27.
Croatia, third-placers from the previous edition of the championship in 2005, topped the group with five points, while Argentina finished second with four points to go through. The Poles, who headed into the last eight as favourites, were eliminated and finished with just three points.
In quarter-final group 'II', Denmark barged into the semi-finals with a 33-31 win over Egypt, while Sweden booked their slot with a well-deserved 37-21 victory over Bahrain.
Denmark topped the group with four points after winning both their matches in the last eight. They are followed by the Swedes who also have four points.
The semi-finals will be played tomorrow, with Croatia taking on Sweden and Denmark facing Argentina.
Bahrain will also be playing tomorrow in their final placement match for seventh place. They face Spain, who finished last in the quarter-final group 'I'. Egypt and Poland are set to battle for fifth place, while the remaining placement matches for places nine through 16th will also be played.
The schedule of matches, which will all take place at the Gulf Finance House sports complex in Umm Al Hassam, will be released today.
The championship game and match for third will be played on Friday.
Meanwhile, reports circulating that Bahrain's Czech head coach Petr Sulc will be leaving his post after the tournament were strongly denied by Bahrain Handball Association (BHA) president Abdulrahman Bu Ali.
"The board has still not met to discuss this, so no decision has been taken yet," Bu Ali told GDN last night. "We still have a match to play and it is not right to address this issue while the championship is going on."
A source at the BHA, however, who asked not to be named, said that the BHA and Sulc had already agreed to part ways prior to the championship.
Sulc guided Bahrain to three straight victories in the preliminary round, including a famous 27-22 result over semi-finalists Denmark. The hosts then lost both their matches in the quarter-finals.
The Kingdom's team won the admiration of their opponents with their effort in the tournament. "We have a lot of respect for Bahrain," Sweden head coach Magnus Borjesson said. "They played a very good championship."
No matches are scheduled for today, as teams are given a chance to prepare for the final two days of play.
RUKOMET, SP KADETA: HRVATSKA U POLUFINALU
Hrvatski kadeti pobijedili su Poljsku s 27:25 (13:10) u odlučujućem meču za daljnje razigravanje za medalje i osvojili prvo mjesto u četvrtfinalnoj skupini na Svjetskom rukometnom prvenstvu u Bahreinu.
Izabranici Slavka Goluže, europski prvaci, tako su izborili polufinale, u kojem ih u četvrtak očekuju vršnjaci iz Švedske, drugoplasirani iz druge četvrtfinalne skupine. U drugom polufinalu sastaju se Argentina, koja je zahvaljujući pobjedi nad Španjolskom s 32:27 zauzela drugo mjesto u našoj skupini, i Danska.
U utakmici protiv Poljske raspoloženi su bili Tojčić s osam i Štrlek sa sedam pogodaka, a slijedili su ih Luka Raković i Domagoj Duvnjak s po tri gola. Istaknuo se i drugi golman reprezentacije Ante Granić s 43 posto uspješnosti obrane u samo 18 minuta igre.
HRTweb sport (il)
Izvorhttp://sport.hrt.hr/htvsport/Opsirno.asp?dan=/2007/07/31/013.xml Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljić
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