Egypt is the first finalist of the IHF World Youth Championship in Skopje after stopping Portugal in the first semifinal in Boris Trajkovski Arena, 41:36 (20:19). Portugal entered the tournament with a wild card, was the most pleasant surprise, but had no strength to take the last step towards the trophy. Egypt in the last five big international championship has played four semi-finals.
What a semifinal match Egypt and Portugal played. The Portuguese opened with a 3-0 lead, but Egypt’s mini-series followed with a 3:3 for first equalization. New initiative of the Portuguese team, with the highest advantage of four goals, 7: 3. Great defense and saves from Portugal goalkeepers, quick action and attractive goals.
But Egypt also knew how to fight back. A good game for a new equalizer (15:15) in the middle of the half. The game was tense and uncertain, goal by goal until the finish line, when Egypt scored on an empty net that left with one positive in the half, 20:19.
Egypt’s high and strong defensive line made trouble for the Portuguese players at the start of the second half and this gave the Egyptians the biggest advantage of five goals, 24:19. Portugal tried to narrow the gap by “seven to six” in attack but it didn’t work out for them…
MOHAMED IBRAHIM SHARAFELDIN MAHMOUD, HEAD COACH OF EGYPT
“We played a great game. We studied a lot the Portuguese game and we stop all the strong points in their game and we played until the end. Portugal was also fighting until the end. We have one more match, will see now against who we will play and will do our best… Will win the gold, I hope.”