It was the “all or nothing” game for Portugal at the Handball World Championships and almost everything went wrong. After almost the right campaign, with four wins and one goal defeat against Norway, the Portuguese team entered the final round of the main round in a battle with two of the strongest candidates for the World Cup (Norway and French), but no he was able to face the support of France and clearly lost (32-23). . Despite being eliminated from the quarterfinals, Portugal can still reach the top spot in the tournament.
An hour before the start of the meeting between Portugal and France at the Hassan Moustaba Stadium in Giza, news came that Norway had won against Iceland (35-33), which, in practice, made little change to the Portuguese side, but it prevented the immediate qualification of the French.
With Norway’s victory, Portugal continued to rely on itself (guaranteeing a win), while France found a place in the guaranteed “quarters” even if they lost by less than seven goals.
With the same 16 players who played against Switzerland (Gustavo Capeville, Lionel Fernandes, Luis Fred and Diego Silva out), the Portuguese team also entered the game well, five minutes later, the French, 3- two.
From then on, however, Paulo Pereira’s “seven” attack began to play into the center, and Timothy began to have trouble blocking my quiz: with five goals from Barcelona, France themselves 9-6.
After a defensive rearrangement to block the Frenchman’s nine-meter shots, Portugal leveled the game again and put up another goal (11-12), but the national team stumbled again in the final minutes of the first half on the attack, making an embarrassing difference at the end of the first thirty minutes of four (12-16). Allows.
Forced to recover from a five-goal deficit, the national team managed even 2-1 at the start, but one of the most influential Portuguese players, Idurisa, was sent off for a second time in the second minute, after which Portugal’s game collapsed.
At 16-22 on the scoreboard, Paulo Pereira asked for more time and told his players to fight “to the end”, but with France calm and the pressure on Portugal’s side, the difference continued to be ten goals (17-27).
At the end of 60 minutes, the difference of nine goals was the most severe punishment for the national team, which, as it happened a year ago, reached sixth place in the European Championship, again showing the quality of intervening in the elite world handball.
In addition to France and Norway, Hungary, Spain, Denmark, Egypt and Sweden also qualified for the quarterfinals.
As for Portugal, it could achieve the best record in the tournament (12th), but the Portuguese classification will only be known this Monday, after the main round is over.