The Final: Georgia vs Cuba!

Cuba needed extra-time to beat brave and excellent team of Bulgaria. In the beginning Cubans were in front 9:2 and the result of the first half was 20:14, but perhaps, for this reason islanders relaxed after the break and the game ended 32:32.

After extra time the result of the match was 39:36. Cuba won.

Men of the match were Magnol Suarez (Cuba,GK) and Svetlin Dimitrov (Bulgaria,RW)

Magnol Suarez: We’re not so satisfied because we weren’t ready for today’s game, we will work harder for tomorrow and I hope to win the championship.

Nicola Karastoyanov, Coach of Bulgaria: I think we made a poor start with many misshots from 6 metres, it was very diffficult to play against the team like Cuba. One thing I’m really satisfied with my players is that they kept fighting till the end of the game and that’s the positive side, but as the negative- we can’t allow our team to play so poorly in the first half of the semi-finals. I think we should work more on our mental stability.

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In the semifinals Georgia will meet Great Britain

After four games, Georgia and Bulgaria were already semi-finalists, but they had to decide who would take first place in Group B. This was important for the determination of semi-final pairs. Georgia defeated Bulgaria 35:19 and on saturday, June 15 will meet Great Britain. In turn, Bulgaria will play against Cuba. Thus, Georgia gained 10 points from 5 games and finished first in group B.

On June 15 at 14:00 GMT Georgia will play against Great Britain and at 16:00 GMT Cuba will meet Bulgaria.

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The Bulgarians played on a par with the tournament hosts at the beginning of the game, but after the 18th minute the difference in the score began to grow.

Best players of the match were Temur Orjonikidze (LB, Georgia) and Stefan Dimitrov (GK, Bulgaria).

Nikola Karastoyanov, Coach of Bulgaria: First of all I’d like to congratulate my players, they played very well, both in the first half and the second. They have very good players. We tried to fight in the firt half but at the end of it, I decided to play lighter, because we have a very tough game coming up in semi-final, that’s why I gave them a break in the second half. The reason we lost in the first half is that we made too many technical mistakes, we’ll try to make less in next games.

Nikola Maksimovic, Coach of Georgia: First 15 minutes we didn’t play so well, but then second 15 minutes in the first half we played excellent in defence, we stopped their strong points and it was enough to make good results till the end of the first half. Their strong point were right wing, middle back and right back, we stopped them after 15 minutes and they don’t have substitution, so when they put second line up we finished our job easily. We will come prepeard for the strongest opponent in Semi-final.

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Third win in a row for Cuba

On the third day of the competition, Cuba won a third time in a row, beating Colombia 31:24. Colombians now have one win out of three games. At the end of the first half, the Colombians had a chance to catch the rivals when they reduce the difference to 10:12.

At the 37 minute the the score was even 16:15 in favour of Cuba but exactly here islanders scored four times and decided the outcome of the match.

The man of the match from Colombia was Wiliiam Romero Diaz, the scorer og 6 goals. As for goalkeeper of Cuba Magnol Suares, he saved 15 shots and became the best for the second time.

On day four, June 12, Cuba plays against Azerbaijan and Colombia against India.

William Romero Diaz, Colombia: I’m satisfied with my game today, the coach didn’t let me play a lot in the previous game, so I proved that I am able to do good for the team, however I’m not satisfied with the team play. I hope that we’ll be able to show that Columbia truly has a great team and very good players of handball.

Magnol Suares Fiss, Cuba: This game was the best for us. The teams game was very good in defence and attack, we were really concentrated for this game.


Cuba beat China 30-24 on day 2

Cuba earned a shock 30-24 win over Group A top seeds China on the second day of the International Handball Federation (IHF) Emerging Nations Championship in Georgia.

China started with impressive intensity but a 19th-minute breakaway goal from Omar Toledano turned the momentum and by halftime Cuba led by three.

China fought back but were hampered again when Zhaopeng Li – who made the score 18-18 with his seventh goal of the game – was given a suspension that allowed Cuba to retake the lead with an extra man.

Although the Central Americans were set back by a red card for Adonys Jesus Garcia, they earned an impressive win, thanks in no small part to goalkeeper Magnol Suarez Fiss, who made three penalty saves.

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Bulgaria maintained their 100 per cent record with a 38-35 victory over the United States.

It looked as if wild cards the United States would be overwhelmed when Bulgaria, top seeds in Group B, raced into a commanding lead with seven goals without reply.

But the Americans slowly closed the gap and by halftime they led 17-16.

The favourites reasserted their dominance, though, and with Kristian Vasilev scoring 11 of their goals, they eventually took victory.

Hosts Georgia also made it two from two as they inflicted another heavy defeat on Malta, 39-13.

The home players filled their boots against a weak Maltese side – Giorgi Arvelodi Dikhaminjia scored eight, Giorgi Tskhovrebadze six and Nikoloz Kalandadze six.

South American champions Colombia got their first win on the board with a 35-30 victory over Azerbaijan.

They roared into a 6-1 advantage after seven minutes but Azerbaijan rallied and trailed 17-15 at the interval.

In an ill-tempered match which saw four red cards handed out – two for either side – Azerbaijan took the lead in the second half but were stopped from pulling too far ahead due to good saves by keeper Julian Alberto Villa Arango.

Powered by the goals of Sebastian Restrepo, Colombia regained control late on to earn their first Emerging Nations Championship victory.

Britain also earned their first win in Tbilisi, beating India 38-28.

After a tight first half, which Britain shaded 16-13, the European side took full control in the second 30 minutes as Sebastian Edgar scored an impressive 14 goals.

The final game of the day between Nigeria and Ireland was an entertaining affair which ended in the tournament's first draw – 31-31.

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