This afternoon, Iceland played Japan in the 2019 World Men’s Handball Championship, currently being hosted in Germany and Denmark. Six days into the tournament, Iceland secured a third victory in what has so far been a challenging competition.
Iceland is placed in Group B alongside Croatia, Spain, Macedonia, Japan and Bahrain. Currently, the group leader is Spain with 8 points, Croatia following with 6. Iceland is joint third in the rankings with 4 points alongside tomorrow’s competitor, Macedonia.
The scores reflect that Iceland has had a difficult start to their World Cup journey, losing 31-27 in their first match with Croatia, followed by a 32-25 loss to Spain. They managed to secure a victory in their third game, this time against Bahrain, winning 36-18.
The match against Japan was held in Olympiahalle Arena in Munich at 2.30 PM Icelandic time today.
Previously, Icelandic coach Guðmundur Guðmundsson expressed that this year’s World Cup was a trial run for his new, youthful team, including for Captain, Aron Pálmarsson.
Japan’s national side also happens to be coached by an Icelander, the former professional handball player, Dagur Sigurðsson. Dagur has previously had success with the German team, Füchse Berlin, winning the 2014 DHB Cup.
Handball is the national sport of Iceland, a fact often lost on visitors given the locals’ recent enthusiasm towards football. The game involves two teams of seven players who, through passing and dribbling, aim to score by throwing the ball into one another’s goal. Matches last for sixty minutes (split into two periods) and are most commonly played indoors.
Iceland hosted the World Cup in 1995, but have, as of yet, failed to win a single tournament (— though, in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the Icelandic Men’s Handball team earned themselves a silver medal). Coincidentally, the highest Iceland has ever scored was 5th place in 1997 when Japan hosted the World Cup.
Who are you supporting in the 2019 World Men’s Handball Championship? Would you like to see more sports coverage from Iceland? Make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below.