Egypt's centre back Seif Mohamed Elderaa (L) and Egypt's left back Yehia Elderaa celebrate their win during the 2021 World Men's Handball Championship match between Group IV teams Slovenia and Egypt at the Cairo Stadium Sports Hall in the Egyptian capital on January 24, 2021. AFP
The Pharaohs have a solid opportunity to beat Denmark and make it to the semifinals, stated president of the Egyptian Handball Federation (EHF) and chairman of the Organising Committee of the Men’s World Handball Championship, Egypt 2021, Hesham Nasr.
Egypt's senior handball national team have booked their place in the quarterfinals of the 27th Men’s Handball World Championship after landing the second place in Group IV ranking with seven points to set up a decisive encounter against World Champions Denmark on Wednesday.
"We have to put on our regular show without any pressure to achieve victory over Denmark and reach the tournament's semifinals," Nasr said on TV on Sunday night.
Egypt are hosting the 27th Men’s Handball World Championship from 13 to 31 January with the participation of 32 teams -- a record number of teams -- despite the coronavirus pandemic, while adhering to the precautionary measures against the virus.
The Pharaohs have given superb performances since the onset of the World Championship, beating Chile 35-29 and smashing North Macedonia 38-19, before finishing the preliminary round with the narrow 24-23 loss to topflight Sweden.
"As was the case with the majority of participating teams, Egypt didn't prepare well for the World Championship due to the coronavirus pandemic but we put on a superb show and reached the quarterfinals, nevertheless," said Nasr.
In the main round of the World Championship, Egypt defeated Belarus 35-26 and Russian Handball Federation 28-23 before finishing the main round with the 25-25 draw with Slovenia to snatch a place among the top eight teams in the world.
Egypt will face a tough mission against World Champions Denmark in the quarterfinal on Wednesday.
"Denmark is a big team with the best goalkeeper in the world and the best player in the previous years, but we can win if we play without pressure," the EHF president said.
"It's not the first time to meet Denmark. We played against them before in their homeland in the attendance of their supporters and we were a tough opponent for them," Nasr said.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)