Nigeria Lose International Handball Emerging Nations Championship Placement Match
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By Our Correspondent
Despite making appreciable improvement in the competition, Nigeria, on Saturday, lost to Great Britain 30-20 in a fifth placement match at the International Handball Federation, IHF Emerging Nations Championship in Varna, Bulgaria.
In a game played at the Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna, the national U-24 male handball team, had the advantage in the first minutes of the match leading 5-1 at some point but fell like a pack of cards as Great Britain patiently actualized their tactics of isolating right wing Faruk Yusuf, thereby punishing Nigeria’s unnecessary turnovers to win the first half 14-11.
The second half pretty much continued from how the first half ended with Yusuf isolated and no opportunity for Ibrahim and Obina Ani to shoot from the 9 meters while Great Britain kept true to their superior tactics inspired by Goalkeeper Craig McClelland’s MVP performance which led to him making crucial saves especially six one – on -one saves in the first half and right wing Francisco Pereira shining performance to defeat Nigeria 30-20.
McClelland, who was voted Player of the Match, made as much as 18 saves and had 50% save ratio while Pereira, through his breathtaking fast breaks had 11 goals in the match.
Nigeria will play Andorra, who have highest goal scorer Unai Ruiz in their team, in a 7th/8th placement on Sunday while Great Britain will face Australia in a 6th placement match on the same day