Brazil’s Handebol Taubate opened the final day of matches at the 2016 IHF Super Globe with a decisive win against Sydney University Handball Club, thereby securing seventh place on the final ranking before Lekhwiya and Esperance Sportive de Tunis took to the court to decide fifth. After a close 60 minutes it was ES Tunis that were victorious, with a one-goal difference at the final whistle that meant the African side equalled the ranking recorded on their previous Super Globe campaign in 2014.
Duhail Sports Hall, Thursday 8 September
5/6 Placement match: Lekhwiya (QAT) vs Esperance Sportive de Tunis (TUN) 27:28 (16:15)
The match was expected to be the close contest it was, but it did not begin that way, as Lekhwiya started much stronger to create a 6:2 lead by the 10th minute when ES Tunis coach Denis Lathoud called his first time-out. After that his team came into the game, with a 5:0 run levelling the match by the 15-minute mark when Nidhal Amri scored his second goal (7:7).
After that the ES Tunis maintained control for some time, with right wing Mohamed Ali Bhar running a successful fast break that opened a two-goal advantage for the African side at 10:8 in the 19th, before he struck again to take them in front by three at 12:9 in the 23rd.
But Lekhwiya did not allow that lead to last long, and with goals from Ahmed Elamar, Hamad Madadi and Wajdi Sinen they brought the game back to level at 12:12 by the 25-minute mark. The score remained locked as the clock ticked toward half-time, before Lekhwiya claimed a narrow advantage with an impressive save from goalkeeper Yousuf Al Abdulla converted into a goal by left wing Madadi just before the whistle sounded.
Five minutes into the second period the score remained level at 14:14, and as the last 15 minutes of the game began still there was nothing to separate the teams at 22:22. When Lathoud used his final time-out in the 24th the score showed a one-goal advantage for the Qatari team (26:25), and after the teams returned to the court both goalkeepers made saves that kept the score where it was before Tarak Jallouz added a tricky lob goal over Al Abdulla to level at 26:26.
Following Jallouz’s goal neither side could find the back of the net for almost four minutes until ES Tunis added two in a row that pulled them in front to 28:26 before Lekhwiya coach Thabet Mahfoudh called the last time-out of the game. Two ES Tunis suspensions within seconds of each other, for Oussama Boughanmi and Hamdi Aissa, enabled Lekhwiya to close the gap to one with less than 15 seconds remaining, but it was too late for the Asian side to equalise and the team from Tunisia held on to secure fifth place.
7/8 Placement match: Sydney University Handball Club (AUS) vs Handebol Taubate (BRA) 23:35 (11:20)
Sydney Uni coach Philipp Enders began with a somewhat different starting side than usual, with Maikel Takken starting between the posts in place of first goalkeeper Martin Jomin, and Diego Liorente the opening centre back. His decision appeared to be the right one as the team started stronger, with Liorente scoring the first goal off an impressive outside shot from right back before he added the second to give Sydney Uni an early advantage at 2:0.
The Australian side seemed to have little trouble against the offensive defensive system employed by Taubate, as they pulled ahead to lead 3:0 before Daniel Bomfim scored the first for the Brazilian team just as the clock showed five minutes. With Pierre Gaulon off on a two-minute suspension Taubate made the most of the numerical advantage to come within one then level at 3:3, and from that point it was a one-for-one game with Sydney holding a narrow edge at 6:5 in the 10th.
When Cleber Andrade took Taubate in front for the first time at 7:6 in the 12th Sydney Uni coach Enders called his first time-out, but after that the Pan American team began to pull further ahead. By midway through the half, when Sydney’s Daan Verlseeuwen was off on a suspension, Taubate held a 9:7 advantage.
At that point the momentum switched sides completely, as Taubate recorded an 8:1 run through the next 10 minutes that enabled them to create a 17:8 lead by the time the clock showed 25 minutes. When the Brazilian side retained a nine-goal advantage at half-time, it seemed the outcome of the match was all but decided.
Whether Sydney would be able to come back from the deficit depended on how they started the second half, but when Taubate held a substantial lead at 27:15 with 15 minutes left on the clock, it was clear they would have to settle for eighth place on the final ranking. Though the Australian team fought through to the final whistle, they could not compete on level footing with the Pan American side, and the match ended with a clear 12-goal win for Taubate.