Handball: Egypt suffer heartbreaking loss to Spain to miss out on bronze medal

Ahram Online , Saturday 7 Aug 2021

Egypt were made to pay for an error-prone display in the first half to lose to Spain in the third-place game at the Olympic Games

Egypt v Spain handball
Egypt s left back Hassan Walid Kaddah (R) and teammates react after being defeated by Spain at the end of the men s bronze medal handball match between Egypt and Spain of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo on August 7, 2021 (AFP)

Egypt missed out on what would have been a historic handball medal at the Olympic Games after suffering a heartbreaking 33-31 loss to Spain in the bronze medal contest on Saturday.

With the country having never won an Olympic medal in any team sport, the men's handball side had a golden chance to make history.

However, they were made to pay for an error-prone display in the first half, with Spain going to the locker room with a 19-16 lead.

Egypt's defence was breached far too easily in the first period but the team notably improved after the break, with the introduction of keeper Karim Hendawi making the difference.

The experienced keeper produced seven saves while veteran player Ahmed El-Ahmar, who is likely to retire from international handball after the tournament, stole the show with seven goals out of nine efforts as Egypt went level 12 minutes into the second half.

They were neck and neck with Spain for most of the half but the European heavyweights gained a two-goal advantage in the dying minutes, making the most of Egypt's wastefulness.

Egypt also appeared dearly affected by the absence of Barcelona's new recruit Ali Zein, who was ruled out of the game after picking up an injury in the semi-final loss to France.

"We reached the semi-final for the first time after beating some powerful teams," El-Ahmar told beIN Sports after the game but could not complete the interview after appearing to fight back tears.

Several of El-Ahmar's teammates sobbed following the final whistle and were consoled by their Spain counterparts, reflecting the bitterness of the painful loss.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: