Team Qatar leads its group after yet another win, Al-Annabi beat Iraq in their second game at the Asian Men’s Handball Championship.
Qatar came out on top in their group stage match against Iraq on Wednesday night with a resounding 37-22 victory after leading 17-9 at the break.
After a showcase of skill in the opening match against Oman, Qatar extends its lead to 4 points, cementing its place the top of Group C.
The handball team has one more match ahead of it before qualifying for the next stage. The preliminary group stage will conclude with a meeting between Qatar the United Arab Emirates on 20th January, at 19:00 Doha time.
Qatar can guarantee top position if it avoids defeat against regional rivals the UAE and Iraq fails to beat Oman.
The Maroons or Al-Annabi as they’re known in Arabic, have become a major contender in the world of handball over the last decade, winning the past four Asian continental tournaments from 2014-to 2020. Only South Korea has won the competition more times, Seoul’s team were crowned champions consecutively from 1983-1991, 2000, and then again from 2006-2010.
Meanwhile, Kuwait is on par with Qatar’s four trophies, winning in 1995 and from 2002-2006.
If team Qatar is successful at this year’s tournament, it would mark a new record for the most most consecutive championships ever.
Thus far, Kuwait has scored the most goals in the competition after beating Singapore 43-14 in their second match. The Group A game could have ended in the first half after a dominating performance from the Kuwaitis that saw them lead 21-8.
South Korea, which was seeded in the same group as Kuwait, had a closer affair. Its match with Jordan ended 28-24 after leading the first half by only one goal. The team will face Kuwait on Thursday evening for to decide who will finish top of the group.
In group B, Saudi Arabia and Iran continued their winning streaks with comfortable victories. The tournament hosts beat Australia in their second match 30-13 after leading 16-7 in the first half. Iran responded with a similar scoreline of 42-29, removing India from title contention.
In group D, Bahrain maintains a flawless record as they extend their lead and ensure the best goal difference in the tournament. The team beat Uzbekistan 35-19, while Hong Kong beat Vietnam 31-27.
The third match in the group stage will take place on Thursday.
The 16 participating teams have been split into four groups containing four teams each, with the teams being ranked first and second progressing into two main round groups of four teams. The top two teams in each main round group will then move into the semi-finals.
Saudi Arabia was awarded the hosting rights of the tournament after the Championship was moved in September by the Asian Handball Federation, due to the spread of Covid-19 in the initial host country, Iran.
South Korea (4)
Saudi Arabia (4)
United Arab Emirates (2)
Hong Kong (2)