TDT | manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain champions Al Najma missed the gold medals yesterday in the 24th Asian Club League Men’s Handball Championship which ended in Hyderabad, India. Najma had to settle for the silver medals after a 23-28 loss to Kuwait’s Al Kuwait in the tournament final, played at the GMC Balayogi Indoor Stadium.
The Bahrainis fell behind until the final five-goal margin in the second half. They trailed 12-15 earlier in the interval but roared early in the final 30 minutes to come back at 18-19. Kuwait, however, scored the next three goals and Najma never recovered.
Najma tried to stay in the fight and stay just two goals away, but in the final five minutes their rivals finally pulled away. With the result, Najma was unable to claim her second title in the competition’s history. They have won it once in the past in the 2017 edition which was also held in Hyderabad.
By winning the championship, Kuwait took Asia’s sole spot at this year’s International Handball Federation (IHF) Men’s Super Globe, which takes place in October in Saudi Arabia. Only champions book a ticket to the event, which is contested between the champion clubs of the continental confederations.
Kuwait and Najma received their respective trophies and medals at the official awards ceremony held after the game. Best Players At the ceremony, players Najma Ali Eid, goalkeeper Mohammed Abdulhussain, Mahdi Saad and Mohammed Habib Naser were all among those honored as the tournament’s best players.
Meanwhile, also yesterday, Al Qadsia of Kuwait clinched the bronze medals of the tournament after beating Al Arabi of Qatar 28-27 in the match for third place. Qadsia led 16-12 at half-time and held their advantage in the final half of the game.
Qadsia also received their medals at the official awards ceremony after the final. Saad and French professional Bakary Diallo scored six goals apiece to lead Najma. Mohammed Mirza added three, while Eid, Ahmed Fadhdul and Komail Mahfoodh scored two each. France’s Alix Kevynn Nyokas and Naser finished with one goal each.
Abdulhussain made six saves in the contest. Zuluet Hernandez scored seven goals to beat Kuwait while Mishaal Alharbi netted six in their win. Najma entered the competition after winning the silver medals in 2015 and the bronze medal in 2001. In the previous edition of the tournament held last year, Najma placed fourth after losing in the bronze medal match to Arabi by just one goal.