Sydney Uni produced the greatest comeback in the history of the Super Globe to snatch a 26:26 draw against Saudi Arabian club Al Wehda, in Jeddah overnight, and now has the possibility of finishing this year’s tournament in eighth place.
The Aussies had a wavering start to the game, allowing the home team to build an early four-goal lead and set the pace for the match.
By the end of the first half, a series of missed opportunities, and poor decision-making in defence, had Sydney trailing by 8:17 and headed for a scoreboard disaster.
Whatever Sydney Uni’s Serbian coach Srdjan Skrecevic said at the break, it had a profound impact on the team.
The Aussies returned to the court with vengeance. A seven-nil scoring streak, led by Bevan Calvert, from the start of the second half, put Sydney Uni within striking distance.
The teams then traded goals and tinkered with tactics to gain control of the game, but Sydney Uni continued to trail.
Then, with ten minutes left in play, Diego Llorente scored two quick goals to complete Syndey Uni’s comeback and set the scene for a thrilling finish.
Sydney Uni then continued to put pressure on the Saudis, and with five minutes left in play, Jonathan Lennstrom gave them a two-goal lead (25:23), which Al Wehda neutralised immediately after, through Dariel Hernandez.
Bevan Calvert then provided his team a final opportunity to snatch the win, with his tenth goal of the match, but Al Wehda equalised again through Majdi Helali to end the match in a draw.
Calvert once again top-scored for the match, with an incredible ten goals, earning Man of the Match accolades and showing why he has been the most successful Australian handball player in the last decade.
Sydney Uni will need to wait for the outcome of the Zamalek vs Al Wehda game tomorrow to find out their final place in the tournament. Sydney Uni’s success in this year’s competition comes at the end of a challenging preparation period, brought on by nationwide lockdown orders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tournament ends today with a clash of two European superpowers. German side SC Magdeburg will face Catalan giants FC Barcelona for the title of the 2021 IHF Super Globe.