QT-Online / Sunday, October 13, 2019 / Categories: Top News Unbeaten Qatar to play Australia for semis berth in beach handball Raajiv Tripathi Doha Former double world bronze medallists and hosts Qatar shrugged off a tenacious Spain to finished their preliminary stage with a fifth victory in-a-row in the men’s beach handball competition of the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019. At the Al Gharafa Club on Sunday, the five-time Asia champions Qatar trailed in the opening set as the 2017 European bronze winners forged 16-14 through left wing Gonzalo de Vargas. Qatardefender Mutasem Mohamed tied the scores with a few seconds left, and right wing Hand Kakhi darted down the flank to strike a superb one-pointer goal to put Qatar 1-0 ahead (17-16). In the second set, Kakhi continued to torment the rivals and his four strikes handed Qatar a 10-2 lead, and then the home team just strolled to complete a 2-0 win with 20-10 result. This triumph saw Qatar top Pool B with 10 points. Qatar’s coach Khaled Hassan was delighted with his team’s determined efforts. “We’re proud to finish on the top of Pool B, which was quite a difficult task since we had four-time world beach handball finalists Croatia and Hungary. The players put in their best and we were able to lead the pool,” he said. “Still we’ve a long way to go. My players are a bit tired after we could not play Ahmed Morgan due to an injury. We’ll try to relax and focus on the quarter-final against Australia, who look a tough side. They upset the USA and we’ll have to be wary of them,” he added. Specialist Kamal Aldin Mallash, who is a regular Qatar national team player as well, is enjoying his bow in the beach handball. “I’m playing the beach handball for the first time and I’m finding it interesting. We’ve a good coach in (Khaled) Hassan, who has shaped the team well. “Our journey in the pool matches has been thrilling and we took the No. 1 spot, which is going to motivate us a lot. We’ll continue to push ourselves and try to do Qatar proud in the knock-out stage,” he added. Meanwhile, Hungary upset twice world champions Croatia 21-18, 28-22 to take the second spot. Spain ended fourth and qualified for the medal round. Tunisia and Uruguay, who were fifth and sixth in Pool B, will play for the ninth to 12th places. In Pool A, European champions Denmark stayed unbeaten and headed the group with their fifth victory over Oman. They were followed by five-time world champions Brazil, who got past Sweden 26-20, 16-12. Australia, in a winner-takes-all match, stunned the US and grabbed the last spot behind third-placed Sweden for the first to eight places playoffs. Previous Article Qatar’s Primary health centres to run without breaks on weekends, holidays Next Article Kurds announce deal with Damascus as Turkey pushes deep into Syria Print 1100 Rate this article: No rating Please login or register to post comments.