Egypt’s game against Denmark witnessed official and public reactions after the two sides put on a superb show in the quarterfinal of the 27th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship — Egypt 2021 — late on Wednesday.
Egypt put on a spirited display but ended up losing 39:38 to holders Denmark after a dramatic quarter-final game that needed penalties to be settled in the World Championship.
Egypt is hosting the 27th Men’s Handball World Championship from 13 to 31 January, with 32 teams participating — a record number of teams — despite the coronavirus pandemic, while adhering to the precautionary measures against the virus.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has extolled the Pharaohs’ performance against Denmark despite the narrow loss in a dramatic quarter-final, sending special thanks to the players after their ‘honourable performance’ during the game.
“Greetings of pride and appreciation to our national handball team for the honourable performance against Denmark’s team,” the Egyptian President wrote on his twitter account after the game.
“They [the Egyptian players] provided us with a great example of heroic performance and spirit of strength until the last moment of the match. Thank you.”
The Pharaohs were within touching distance of causing a huge upset after two overtimes in a marathon contest, having led 35-34 with only a few seconds remaining.
However, Ibrahim El-Masri was penalised for a needless foul as the referee sent him off and awarded Denmark a penalty after time had ended, which they converted to force a shootout.
Denmark prevailed in the shootout after Egypt's veteran players, Ahmed El-Ahmar and Ali Zein, wasted their efforts, erupting in joy after being given a run for their money by their less fancied opponents.
Denmark’s ambassador to Egypt, Svend Olling, also has expressed his appreciation for the crunch showdown between his country’s national team and Egypt in the World Championship quarterfinal.
“WHAT A HANDBALL DRAMA! Thank you, Egypt, for a dramatic quarter final,” Olling wrote on his twitter account.
“After a double extended play and a penalty shootout, Denmark marginally clinches a place in the semifinals of the Men’s Handball World Cup. Deep respect for the Egyptian team,” he added.
Egypt's Coach, Roberto Parrondo of Spain, said in the post game press conference that he has nothing to say after the superb crunch showdown his team played against Denmark, confirming he has a strong team who can face the biggest teams in the world.
Egypt handball national team coach Roberto García Parrondo
Egypt’s right Winger Mohamed Sanad revealed that he is extremely disappointed because his side was not lucky enough to snatch the victory.
"The entire world saw what we can do, I'm extremely proud of my teammates and our coaches,” Sanad told a press conference.
Egypt handball national team right wing Mohamed Sanad
Liverpool's Egyptian Winger Mohamed Salah also appreciated the performance of Egypt’s handball team during the game against Denmark, confirming he is proud of them.
"All the greetings and appreciation to our national handball team for the historical match today, we are very proud of you and good luck in upcoming events," Salah wrote on his twitter account after the game.
The Pharaohs finished as the runners-up of their group in the preliminary round of the 27th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship after defeating Chile 35:29, then North Macedonia 38:19, before losing to topflight Sweden 24:23 to secure a place in the main round of the tournament.
Egypt opened the main round campaign with a big victory of 35:26 over Belarus, then they defeated the Russian Handball Federation 28:23, before a 25-25 draw with Slovenia, finishing second in the group's ranking and snatching a place in the World Championship’s quarterfinals.
Egypt have given their best performance in the World Championship in 20 years after they finished seventh at the prestigious tournament.
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