Asian Handball Championship: Qatar down Bahrain, book place in semi-finals
24 Jan 2018 - 1:23
By Chinthana Wasala / The Peninsula
SUWON, SOUTH KOREA: Reigning champions Qatar became the first team to make it to the semi-finals of the Asian Handball Championship when they put up an impressive show to defeat Bahrain 29-21 yesterday.
At the Seo-Suwon Chilbo Gymnasium in Suwon, South Korea, Al Annabi proved to be too good for their neighbouring rivals and led 13-11 at half time.
Frankis Marzo was the star of the day for Qatar, adding seven goals to the tally. Youssef Ali also made a valuable contribution, scoring six goals to swell the total.
With yesterday’s win, Qatar stays on course for a repeat success at the prestigious championship, extending their winning streak to five matches.
The win also put Qatar on top of the Group 2 standings with four points. In their last game prior to the semi-finals, favorites Qatar will take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) today in their remaining fixture of the main round but the outcome of it will not affect Qatar’s presence in the next stage. UAE are already out of the competition, having lost both their Group 2 matches.
Japan and Bahrain will be vying for the remaining semi-final slot today.
Earlier, on Monday, Al Annabi thrashed Japan by a margin of 40-23 in their opening match of the main round. Qatar made it to the main round following an impressive run in the first stage where they topped Group D. Al Annabi defeated Saudi Arabia, China and New Zealand to advance with flying colours.
The top four teams of the championship will make it to the Handball World Cup which will take place in Denmark and Germany in 2019.