In their second game of the 2023 IHF Emerging Nations Championship, the Australian Men’s handball team went down to Cyprus in another physical matchup. Despite a strong start from Australia, the Cypriot team fought back to take control of the match and secure the victory 24-21, in Varna on Thursday.
After their impressive win yesterday, Australia was looking to maintain their momentum and secure another victory that would take them through to the semi-final in this important tournament. The Aussies started strong, dominating the first 20 minutes of the game and racing to a five-goal lead at 8:3. Australia’s defence was once again in outstanding form, led in the middle by Tim Anderson and Liam McCourt, but the team struggled to capitalize in attack, missing crucial attempts at goal, allowing Cyprus to fight back to level the scores at 11-11 by half time.
In the second half, Cyprus took control of the game and quickly raced to a three-goal lead. Despite this setback, Australia remained in the game and some of the younger players led by Alejandro Peña stepped up to fight back and make it 18:18 with 10 minutes left to play. Unfortunately, the team was unable to capitalise on this and secure the win, allowing a strong Cypriot team to push past them at the end.
The Aussies finish second in Group B and will now play against Andorra on Saturday in the classification rounds for the 5th to 8th position in the tournament. Despite the setback, the Australian Men’s handball team can take heart from their strong performances in the tournament so far. With their excellent defence and promising attack game, they have shown that they have the potential to compete in the international handball arena. Fans and supporters will be looking forward to their next match as the team hopes to finish the tournament on a high note.
Photo credit: Bulgarian Handball Federation