Bahrain bowed out of title contention last night in the 19th Asian Men’s Handball Championship after a tough 24-28 loss to Qatar at Shaikh Saad Al Abdullah Sports Hall Complex in Kuwait.
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Bahrain also lost key player Ali Merza for much of the second half, after he was given a red card just five minutes in.
The Bahrainis must now settle for a chance to take home the bronze medals from the tournament. They will next face off with Japan, who lost to South Korea 32-34 in the other semi-final yesterday.
The Qatar-South Korea final will be between the two winners of the last six editions of the Asian championship. Qatar won the last three tournaments in 2018, 2016 and 2014 while the Koreans won in 2012, 2010 and 2008.
Both the gold and bronze medal games are scheduled to take place tomorrow on the concluding day of the championship. There are no games today.
Bahrain captain Hussain Al Sayyad tried valiantly to lead his side against the heavily favoured Qataris. He scored five goals but they were not enough to inspire his team.
Mahdi Saad added four, while Ahmed Fadhul, Jassim Alsalatna and Merza all contributed three goals. Ahmed Almaqabi and Mohammed Merza were both on target twice, while completing the scoresheet for the Bahrainis were Mohammed Abdul Redha and Mohammed Ali with a goal apiece.
Cuban-born Qatari Frankis Marzo was the game’s top scorer with six goals. Youssef Ali, originally from Tunisia, added five for the winners. He was later named Player of the Match by officials. Allaedine Berrached chipped in with four goals for Qatar.
Meanwhile, two classification games were also played yesterday. The UAE claimed fifth overall after defeating Iran 29-26, while Saudi Arabia took seventh place after beating hosts Kuwait 24-19.
The other places in the placement round are being contested between Iraq, Hong Kong, China, Australia and New Zealand.
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