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(LEAD) (Asiad) S. Korean men's handball takes silver

All Headlines 21:24 October 02, 2014

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout; ADDS photo)
By Kim You Jin

INCHEON, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) -- Defending champion South Korea lost to Qatar 24-21 on Thursday in the men's handball final at the Incheon Asian Games to settle for silver.

Neither team led by more than two goals for most of the match, until Qatar made key defensive stops and converted late chances for its first Asian Games gold.

With Qatar nursing a 21-20 lead with about four minutes left, Youssef Benali's goal gave the Middle Eastern side a two-goal cushion. On the other end, Jung Su-young went off target and then Oh Yun-suk failed to score on a fast break following a steal.

Qatar took advantage, as Bertrand Roine made it 23-20. Yu Dong-geun responded for South Korea to cut the deficit, but Mahnoud Hassaballa scored with about a minute left for a 24-21 lead to close out the host.

Fans of both teams were kept on their toes throughout most of the game, as all were unsure of how the match might turn out in the end. The arena shook with shouts of both encouragement as well as frustration as each team missed a goal or had the ball snatched away by an opponent.

"Looking back on how hard our training was, it's disappointing how things ended," said captain of the South Korean team Park Jung-geu. "However, instead of trying to figure out what went wrong, I would just like to thank my teammates for putting in their best efforts."

During a post-match news conference, left back Eom Hyo-won said, "We had won the gold medal before (in 2010), so we had a burden on our shoulders that we had to get first place again."

South Korea had won six of the eight handball gold medals up for grabs during past Asian Games.

<YNAPHOTO path='C:/YNA/YNACLI~1/Down/Article/AEN20141001006151320_01_i.jpg' id='' title='' caption='Left wing Sim Jae-bok of the South Korean men&apos;s handball team buries his face in his hands after his team&apos;s loss while the team from Qatar celebrates their gold-medal victory at the Asian Games on Oct. 2, 2014. (Yonhap)'/>

yjkim8826@yna.co.kr
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