Handball: Egypt kick off Olympics with 37-31 win over Portugal

Egypt next face Denmark in a re-match of their dramatic quarter-final meeting at the World Championship in January

Ahram Online , Saturday 24 Jul 2021
Egypt v Portugal handball
Egypt s left back Yehia Elderaa (R) jumps to shoot during the men s preliminary round group B handball match between Portugal and Egypt during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (AFP)

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Egypt got off to a winning start to their Olympic Games campaign, producing a superb second-half display to down Portugal 37-31 in their opening Group B game on Saturday.

Both sides went to the locker room tied at 15-15, with Egypt levelling just before halftime with a brilliant foul from Yehia Khaled.

The introduction of goalkeeper Mohamed El-Tayar in the second half made all the difference as he pulled off a string of fine saves to tip the game in Egypt's favour.

Egypt started to widen the gap with 10 minutes remaining, with Portugal unable to stage a comeback. Ahmed Hesham was named the match's best player after scoring seven goals.

 "My team is pushing me all the time. Without them, I could not lead anyone, because they just push me even though I'm the youngest," Hesham was quoted as saying on the International Handball Federation website.

"They don't differ from young to old. They do everything for me to be the leader." 

The Pharaohs top Group B with two points. The top four in the two groups will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Egypt face Denmark in their next game on Monday in a re-match of their dramatic quarter-final meeting at the World Championship in January.

Eventual world champions Denmark won 39-38 after a marathon contest needed penalties to be settled.

Check Egypt's full Olympics squad

Check Egypt's schedule and results 

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