Olympic Handball Day 9: Japan's men provide finish of tourney

Olympic Handball Day 9: Japan's men provide finish of tourney
Posted at 11:28 PM, Jul 31, 2021

Hosts slip Portugal with frantic late flurry


Anyone still not sold on team handball as a crazy-athletic, fast-paced, high-scoring, did-you-see-THAT sport just hasn't been watching.

If you watched Sunday's Group B see-saw battle between previously winless Japan and Portugal, you know. And you're likely sticking around until medals drape necks.

Japan and Portugal won't be on the podium; they'll be gone when group play ends. But the host country likely will have some pretty fond memories when it's all over, because they provided the finish of the men's tournament thus far Sunday at Yoyogi National Stadium and got its first win in five matches.

Down 29-28 with 2:32 left on the clock after Portugal snapped the penultimate tie of a match that had many, Japan tied it back up 26 seconds later, snapped the final tie with 1:04 left, then got the insurance it'd so desperately need with a goal at 0:20.

Portugal scored with five seconds remaining to close the scoring but fell to 1-4 as well.

Egypt impressive again, routs Bahrain


Seemingly determined to make a splash in Tokyo, Egypt's men maintained the momentum they've established in Group B by doubling up Bahrain, 30-20.

Up 15-7 at halftime, Egypt was on cruise control thereafter while improving to 4-1 in the group, which is headlined by Rio 2016's gold medalists from Denmark.

Bahrain is 1-4 in the group.

Rock-solid Spain keeps Argentina winless


Looking for its first win in group play, Argentina got off to a solid start but trailed at the half, 17-12, and eventually it was clear that only one team on the floor was a legitimate medal hopeful.

That was Spain, of course, winning 36-27 by pulling away after the break to improve to 4-1 in Group A, behind the Rio 2016 silver medalists from France.