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Egypt’s handball team lose Rio Olympics opener to Slovenia


Photo: International Handball Federation

Egypt suffered their first defeat at the men’s Olympic handball tournament after losing 27-26 to Slovenia in their opening match.

The match saw a tight contest between the two teams, before the European side emerged victorious in the last 13 seconds.

Slovenia opened the scoring but goals from Ahmed El-Ahmar and Eslam Eissa put Egypt in the front after three minutes. At the 15-minute mark, the Egyptians had a two-goal advantage with a 9-7 scoreline.

The Slovenian team levelled the scoreline before the Egyptians put the score at 15:13 for their favour. Three minutes to the break, Egypt’s Mohamed Ibrahim received a direct red card. The European team then managed to equalise as the first half ended with a 15-15 tie.

The Pharaohs were lively at the early stages of the second half and regained their lead over Slovenia who scored only once in the first nine minutes.

Twenty minutes to full time, the Egyptians let a three-goal lead slip from their hands as the Slovenians made a comeback and levelled the score at 19-19 after benefiting from the suspension of two Egyptian players for two minutes.

The European side took the lead for the first time in the second half at the 41st minute and a penalty by Kavticnik gave Slovenia their first three-goal lead.

Egypt reduced the deficit to 25-26 before Mohamed Hesham levelled the score at 26-26 in the 59th minute. The Slovenian team however were in possession in the remaining minute and managed to score the winner with 13 seconds left while Egypt had no enough time to equalise.

Egypt will face Sweden in their second group stage match on Tuesday.

The African champions were drawn in Group B along with hosts Brazil, Germany, Slovenia, Poland and Sweden, while the other group includes Denmark, Argentina, France, Qatar, Tunisia and Croatia. The first four teams in each of the two groups advance to the quarter-finals.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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