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India eye a win over Iran for a dream comeback at Asian Handball Championship
Following a setback against Saudi Arabia in their first match, the Indian men's handball team seeks a win over Iran at Asian Handball Championship.
The Indian men's handball team faced a setback in their opening game of the Asian Men's Handball Championships 2022 as they lost 54-30 to hosts Saudi Arabia in their Group B encounter in Dammam on Tuesday.
Led by Chandigarh's Atul Kumar, the Indian team showcased a spirited display, as they went toe-to-toe against the hosts in the first half. But the strong Saudi Arabian team pulled up their socks to surge by 12 points at the end of the first half by 26-14. They carried the momentum in the second half to eventually establish a 24-point cushion by the end of this match.
After Tuesday's defeat, India would eye to make amends give their all to beat Iran in their second match on Wednesday, following their slip to the bottom of Group B. The hosts sit at the top of the group with two points and a goal difference of 24, while Iran, who defeated Australia with a goal difference of 22 is placed second in the group. However, if India lose to Iran, their chance to progress into the semis is virtually over. `
The Asian Handball Championship 2022 which began on January 18 will conclude on January 31.
The tournament is divided into two rounds: preliminary and main. The opening round is divided into four groups (A,B,C and D). Each group have four teams.
The teams in each group will meet one another in the opening round to and thus their group standings will be decided. Following the preliminary stage, Group I will form consisting of the winners of Groups A and C, as well as the second-placed teams from Groups B and D. Group II will comprise of the winners of Groups B and D, as well as the second-placed clubs from Groups A and C.
The teams that finished in the third and the fourth spot in the opening group A will be divided into Group III and Group IV. Following another series of round-robin matches in Groups I and II, the teams that finished in the top two spots from each group will advance to the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, the top two teams from Group III and Group IV will battle for ninth place, second-placed teams for 11th, third-placed teams for 13th, and fourth-placed teams for 15th.
This is the 20th edition of the biannual Asian men's handball championship. The top five teams from this edition will get automatic qualifying to the World Men's Handball Championship in Sweden and Poland in 2023.
India is competing in the tournament for the fourth time. They previously competed in 1979, 1995, and 2018. Their best performance to date is a fifth-place finish in 1979.