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Date: 4/6/2018

Cuba appear on their way to the 2018 Pan American Men’s Handball Championship after dominant performances on the opening three days of competition at the ‘North and Caribbean Zone’ qualification event in Mexico City. Cuba are the only team to have recorded three wins in three matches, and are therefore in a strong position with the maximum number of points in their tally at the round-robin competition.


Cuba opened their campaign with a statement win, defeating the USA 41:30 after leading 21:13 at half-time in a match that was expected to be much more tightly contested. Following the victory on day one of competition in Mexico City, Cuba went on to take their second victory, this time 36:23 versus Puerto Rico, before collecting their third win, against Canada (27:24).


Hosts Mexico are following Cuba closely, having won their first game 33:28 versus Dominican Republic, then recording two draws – 26:26 against Canada, and 30:30 versus the USA.


The USA and Canada have each taken one victory and one draw, setting them in an early battle for third position on the final ranking – and with it the last ticket to the Pan American Championship in Nuuk, Greenland in June. While both sides lost to Cuba, Canada’s defeat was only by a three-goal margin, while the USA suffered a final deficit of 11 against the same opponent.


The USA had their first taste of victory when they beat Dominican Republic 32:26, while Canada’s win came in the opening game against Puerto Rico (31:27). Canada and the USA are set to meet for a classic derby match – which seems it could be a decisive game regarding qualification – on the last day of games (April 8). 


Having recorded two losses and a draw in their mutual encounter (29:29), Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic are currently chasing the other teams in the qualification battle. With two days of competition remaining however, the places at the Pan American Championship are far from decided, though it appears that it will be difficult to knock Cuba from their leading position.