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Date: 8/25/2014

The Angolan women and the Brazilian boys expectedly have taken the fifth positions at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. After both had won the first placement matches against their respective competitors clearly on Sunday, they left now doubt in the second leg matches on the final day of the handball tournaments (25 August) though the final results were much closer and the matches were truly thrilling until the final buzzer.


Girls’ tournament:

China – Angola 22:22 (8:11) – first leg: 18:31

To tie with the African champions was the first success for host China in Nanjing after four mostly clear defeats. But in the end the burden of the 13 goal backlog from the first leg was too huge to endanger the Angolans. The Chinese girls had never been in lead throughout the whole game, but showed a great moral and character until the final buzzer.

The initial stage had been imprinted by Angolan top scorer Manuela Paulino (nine goals in total), so the African champions were ahead clearly (3:0 and 10:5), before the Chinese team improved. Led by Shanshan Suo and Yanqun Lin, who both scored seven times for the YOG host, China equalized for the first time at 14:14 – the game was open and equal again though the Africans intermediately again forged ahead to a three goal margin (20:17). In the dying minutes it was mainly Suo to score but the final result was gained by Lin 65 seconds before the end.


Boys’ tournament:

Tunisia – Brazil 27:28 (12:13) – first leg: 31:38

The second leg was a pure up and down for both teams: Tunisia had the better start (4:0), then Brazil turned the tide (9:7) – and kept the lead until the break. As their usual top scorer Patrick Toniazzo Lemos failed quite often, it was Henrique Petter Solenta (four of his six goals before the break) who stepped in for the Pan-American champions.

In contrast to their previous games, Tunisia on the other hand was cold as ice at counter-attacks, scoring six fast break goals from six attempts in the first half. But the biggest reason why the match was much closer than the first encounter was brilliant Tunisian goalkeeper Mohamed Hamed, who saved the incredible number of 20 shots (including 13 in the second half)  – and clearly was ahead of his strong Brazilian counterpart Marcos Colodetti (14 saves).

The second half became a real thriller: Brazil seemed to be on the winners’ way in minute 47, when they were ahead by 23:20 – but then Tunisia took the control, scoring six straight times to have their first three goal advance after the break.

But Brazil were only shaken, but did not fall. The South Americans stroke back again, equalizing at 26:26 three minutes before the end. Finally a double strike of Perreira and Petter Solenta Solenta decided an intense and exciting game.

In their final match at the Youth Olympic Games both coaches gave playing time to all of their players – so finally nearly everybody was in the scorer list. Ben Abdallah and Ghachem were the top scorers of the Africans, netting in five times each.