In their second IHF Emerging Nations Men’s Championship match Australia lost to Group B leaders Kosovo.
Kosovo vs Australia 31:24 (16:12)
Kosovo took command of the game immediately, making it clear early on that Australia would have a tough physical match on their hands.
At half-time the home side were in front by four goals, and they followed with a strong half that saw Kosovo finish with a seven-goal victory.
“We met the home team, Kosovo, in a physical, technical encounter, in which they were much stronger than us.
“We had a few periods where we didn’t have 100% concentration, but when we did, we played as equals with Kosovo. We will need to focus on discipline and concentration for the entire 60 minutes,” said coach Jan Ottosen.
Ottosen commended his players for their spirit throughout the match:
“I tip my hat to the players, who all were fighting, trying the best they can with the few resources and trainings we have had together.”
Back Tim Anderson, Australia’s top scorer with nine goals, agreed that the team showed determination through to the final whistle.
“The level of fight shown by the boys throughout the entire match makes me proud to stand beside them representing my country.
“It felt like we were playing against eight players with the local crowd supporting their home team. It was a fantastic learning experience that we can draw on moving forward into the coming years,” said Anderson.
Australia play their final group phase game on Monday against bottom-of-the-table Armenia. Australia have a good chance of taking two points from this match, as Armenia lost decisively to Faroe Islands (9:61) on Sunday. Australia drew 34:34 with Faroe Islands in their first game.
Written by: Courtney Gahan
Photo: Kosovo Handball Federation