Handball WC: Romania virtually out of the tournament

After losing their first two matches, against Croatia and against Denmark, at the World Championships in Sweden, Romania’s men handball national team also lost against Algeria, a game they should win to stay in the competition (final score 14-15)

Abdelmaled Slahdji was the Algerian hero in this historic victory: The goalkeeper, absolutely deserved awarded man of the match, saved the first victory of the Northern Africans in their third encounter with a European team. His saves brought the Romanians to despair after the break.

“It was unbelievable, what we did,” Romanian player Aurel Florea said after the match, quoted by the official website of the competition

Romanian coach Vasile Stanga showed in his turn his despair saying he could leave the team after this tournament. “We played absolutely disastrous. Even at my age I could put half of the shoots in the net! Somebody must give up and that probably will be me. My contract is valid until 2012, but if the Federation will ask my resignation, I will agree”, Stanga said after the game, quoted by

Romanian team scored only four (!) goals after the break. Again Algeria had started with their famous 3-3 offensive defence – but the Romanians were well prepared on this initially after the analysis of the Algerian matches against Serbia and Croatia. The team of coach Vasile Stanga waited patiently for their chances, so it took only 15 minutes as the lead was already 7-3. Algeria seemed to have still the second half against Croatia in their heads (4-15), as they had problems in attack. Romania took the chance by counter attacks, especially by Ghionea, who scored six times before the break. But as the Algerians showed their fighting spirit the half time result was only 10-8. And the first 22 minutes of the second half were completely imprinted by defense actions and goalkeeper Slahdji – so Algeria stopped the Romanians. Both teams only scored in total seven times until the 13-12. The high tensioned final stage started. Five minutes before the end Berkous equalized for Algeria, then Rahim brought the lead for the first time to the Algerians. 20 seconds before the end, Algeria caused a technical mistake, Romania took the profit and equalized by Stamate. But then Abderrazak Hamad scored the unexpected winner’s goal by counter attack right with the final whistle.

Like Croatia in Group C before, France have already qualified for the Main Round in Group A after their clear (and third) victory over Bahrain.

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