The semi-finals will feature only European teams after Qatar failed to beat powerhouse Sweden.
Qatar’s national handball team lost to Sweden 35-23 in the quarter finals of the 2021 World Handball Championships in Egypt on Wednesday.
Team ‘Al-Adaam‘ was the only non-European country in the battle to get to the final four, after Egypt was knocked out earlier in the day.
“We didn’t deserve to end the tournament like this, but this is handball. We were very tired, but finishing among the top eight teams is a big success, so I’m proud of my team,” said Qatar’s coach Valero Rivera.
Qatar’s Ahmed Madadi opened the score in the match, but it did not take long for Sweden to claim the initiative. After their goalkeeper Andreas Palicka recorded five saves in 13 minutes, the European side were leading 6-4.
In the second half, Sweden were the dominant side. They played very well in defence, managing to hold Qatar’s leaders Frankis Marzo and Rafael Capote at bay, and in attack, it was 20-year-old right wing Valter Chrintz who had the biggest impact after the break.
Qatar’s handball team qualified for the World Championship after winning their fourth consecutive Asian Men’s Handball Championship, beating South Korea 33 – 21 in the final, which was held in Kuwait last year.
This is the first time the World Handball Championship is being played with 32 teams, instead of 24.
The final of the tournament will be held on January 31 at the Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex.