Along with volleyball, football, and squash, handball is one of those sports at which Egypt rules. The Egyptian handball team currently ranks fifteenth in the world, and has won multiple tournaments over the years.
Such status could only be good news for the American University in Cairo’s handball team, which proved the case last week, as the men’s team finished first in their respective group to qualify for the quarter finals in the national tournament.
The team was placed in a group against the universities of Tanta, Cairo, and Azhar, where it was thoroughly impressive and managed to defeat all three.
They first faced Cairo University, whose team isn’t as strong as many would think. AUC swept them aside with some excellent team maneuvers.
The shots thrown at the Cairo goal were of such high quality, that sympathizing with their keeper was hard to resist – he had very little chance to save any of them.
Nevertheless, Cairo didn’t completely roll over as they were able to put up a fight for a good part of the match.
Alas, AUC proved too strong for them, and held on to win their very first match of the tournament.
Their next opponent was the team from Tanta University, and the match followed a similar pattern to the previous one, with AUC dominating the majority of proceedings before their opponents attempted some kind of comeback.
However, much like Cairo University, Tanta failed to reach the standards AUC set, and ultimately lost by a fairly respectable score line.
With two matches won, things were looking great for all the players on the team, as they were already assured of qualification. However, their last match still had a certain factor that the team could play for – first place.
Although the first two teams do qualify, the team in first will be matched up against an easier opponent from another group.
The players therefore used that as an incentive to put on a show for their final group game – and they did just that.
However, the game started differently from their previous games, as Azhar University took the lead, and controlled the beginning of the match. AUC didn’t back down for long, though, as they fought quickly to get back in the lead and take control of the game.
They eventually won the game by a four-point difference.
Overall, despite not being tested properly during their matches, the squad can be fully satisfied with their showings, as they impressed in many ways to reach the quarter final stage.
Next they face another team that is also qualified, so they will be expecting a tougher game.
The game will be played next week, and will be a chance for the other side to really show their quality and continue their momentum in order to reach the final rounds of the tournament.
Egypt’s handball team will be watching for sure.