Handball: Egypt eye last four berth at World Championship

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Jan 2023

Egypt will be eyeing a semi-final spot at the World Championship as they kick off their campaign with a mouthwatering clash against Croatia in Sweden on Friday.


The two heavyweights clash in Group G, which also includes Morocco and the USA.

The first three teams in each group will qualify for the main round, with Egypt expected to clinch one of those qualifying tickets.

On paper, Egypt will face their real challenge in the main round, where they will face the teams who will advance from Group H, which includes defending champions Denmark, Bahrain, Belgium and Tunisia.

The Pharaohs are looking to build on their achievements in the past two years, which saw them finish seventh in the 2021 World Championship after losing on penalties to eventual champions Denmark in a memorable quarter-final game. 

They also made history in the same year after finishing fourth at the Tokyo Olympic Games for the first time in the country's history.

"Our achievements in the last World Championship and the Tokyo Olympic games put the team under a huge pressure in this World Championship, but we are ready for all challenges," Egypt and Veszprem star Yehya El-Deraa told reporters.

Coach Roberto Garcia Parrondo will rely on the capabilities of El-Deraa and Nimes (France) player Ahmed Hisham and Hassan Qaddah, but he will miss right-back Yehya Khaled, who also plays at Veszprem.

Khaled's absence represents a huge blow for Egypt as he is one of their standout stars. He was named in the team of the tournament at the Tokyo Games.

Mohab Saed and Mohsen Ramadan are set to replace Khaled on the right flank but they are still inexperienced.

"Khaled is one of the best players in the world in his position. His absence is a fact and we have to cope and play without him," Egypt coach Parrondo told reporters.

"We have a very good team that includes many talented players and I think we will have a good chance to go far."

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

Short link: