Preliminary Round (Day 1 Summary)

[b]Group A[/b]
SLO-GRL 35 : 21 (17:9)
TUN-KUW 34 : 23 (14:11)

Slovenia and Tunisia dominated Greenland and Kuwait respectively, although Kuwait made it interesting in the first half. Look for more of the same tomorrow.

[b]Group B[/b]
ISL-AUS 45 : 20 (26:9)
FRA-UKR 32 : 21 (17:8)

No surprises here. Australia was blitzed by a fast-breaking Iceland in the first half. In the second half they played Iceland even for a half period before succumbing to another fast break onslaught. France was also true to form and had no problems taking care of Ukraine. Sunday’s match will see Iceland and Ukraine battling it out for 2nd place and France and Australia playing quite likely the biggest mismatch of the tournament. The Aussies can only hope that the French sleepwalk to victory like they did in their 4 goal preparation match victory over Qatar.

[b]Group C[/b]
GER-BRA 27 : 22 (12:10)
POL-ARG 29 : 15 (12:9)

Argentina hung tough in the first half, but couldn’t keep pace in the 2nd half. Brazil will try to build upon their respectable showing Friday night and surprise Poland on Sunday.

[b]Group D[/b]
CZE-QAT 37 : 23 (18:11)
ESP-EGY 33 : 29 (16:16)

Behind the 1-2 punch of Ahmed EL AHMAN (11 goals) and Hussein ZAKY (8 goals) Egypt gave Spain a knock down drag out fight. In the end Spanish experience prevailed as they pulled away for a four goal win. Tomorrows Czech Republic-Egypt match should be interesting and will probably decide who will go through to the main round with favorite Spain.

[b]Group E[/b]
NOR-ANG 41 : 13 (21:8)
DEN-HUN 29 : 30 (11:13)

Hungary’s dramatic come from behind victory over Denmark was undoubtedly the match of the day. Leading 28-24 with about 5 minutes remaining, Denmark seemingly was in cruise control for a workman-like victory. That is until the wheels came off the car as Hungary capitalized on several Danish missed shots to run off 5 straight goals to take an eventual 30-29 victory. The group of death is living up to it’s moniker. Hungary will take on Norway in another key match tomorrow.

[b]Group F[/b]
CRO-MAR 35 : 22 (18:11)
RUS-KOR 32 : 32 (15:17)

Croatia took care of Morocco as expected, but Russia had to eke out a 32-32 draw against a balanced Korean attack. South Korea in fact appeared to have the upset wrapped up when leading 32-31 with 40 seconds left they deflected a Russian pass. As luck would have it though it bounced right to Alexey RASTVORTSEV for an easy breakthrough goal.

The draw will have a significant impact on the remaining matches. Assuming that favored Croatia wins out- (by no means guaranteed, but still a likely scenario) goal differential for all group matches will decide who advances to the Main Round between Russia and South Korea. Translation: Look out Morocco. Neither Russia or South Korea are going to ease up at all. Makes you wonder what the score lines might be if Angola or Australia were in this pool.

Official Score Sheets for all the matches are at the IHF website: