The men’s semi-finals in the Beach Handball matches at the World Games 2013 could not have held any more tension and suspense. The match between Croatia and Brazil, as well as the encounter Russia versus Qatar both went to a shoot-out, with the last attempt finally deciding the match on both occasions.
Croatia took the first set 21:20 and had the defending champions on the edge of defeat, but Brazil fought back. With Carlos de Oliveira in strong from scoring 14 points overall and the power of Nailson Amaral with 13 points, they came back in the second set, overpowering the latest European Champions and taking the set 20:17.
After Ivan Juric’s 2 point goal in the shoot-out, Croatia was not able to make another goal. Brazil won the shoot-out 5-2 and the match 2-1, and was therefore able to go to the final.
In the second semi-final surprise package Qatar, who had beaten 2013 Beach Handball European Champions Croatia by a well deserved 2-0, as well Ukraine 2-1 after a shoot-out, once again came out strongly and took the first set 19:18 against Russia.
But the experienced Russians, finalists of the 2013 European Beach Handball Championships in Denmark won the thrilling second period 18:17.
Roman Kalashnikov in particular was on fire, scoring 12 points overall, while Mahmoud Osman and Hani Tanabane were Qatar’s best shooters scorıng 18 points each.
In the shoot-out both teams converted their first four attempts, while Vladimir Poletaev for Russia and Ali Mohamed for Qatar did not find the back of the net with the last attempts for their teams.
In the second round of the shoot-out Russia had the clear advantage after Anton Zabolotskiy’s save. After the save one point scored by Anton Dache in Russia’s last attempt was enough to seal the deal.
Russia will meet Brazil in the final at 15:50 (local time) on Sunday in a match that will see the European silver medalist against the defending world champions. Croatia and Qatar will play for bronze at 14:10 hrs on Sunday.
In the women’s competition the semi finals were played between Norway and Hungary, and Brazil and Chinese Taipei. It was Brazil and Hungary that showed no nerves, both winning their matches in very convincing fashion 2:0. The final between Brazil and Hungary will be the clash of the champions. Brazil is the defending World Champion while Hungary won the European Championship two weeks ago in Denmark.
In Hungary’s encounter with Norway it was goalkeeper Agnes Györi who was one of keys to the Hungary’s success, while Kitti Groz scored 16 and Bozsana Fekete scored 12 goals. Hungary won both periods 16:10 and 13:10.
In the second semi-final Brazil took the first set 20:13. Chinese Taipei’s all effort was not enough to overcame the defending World Champions. Brazil won the second half with the same result and go to the final. Camila Ramos scored 10 goals while Nathalie Souza and Cinthya Piquet scored 8 goals.
Therefore Hungary and Brazil will play for gold on Sunday (4th August) at 15:00 hrs (local time). Norway and Chinese Taipei will play for bronze at 13:20 hrs (local time).
The Beach Handball matches at the World Games started on the 2nd of August, with preliminary round matches in 2 groups for both men and women. On the afternoon of 3rd of August, the semi-finals were played. The winners of the World Games 2013 will be decided after the final matches on 4th of August.