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(Olympics) S. Korea inches closer to women's handball quarterfinals after draw vs. Angola

All News 11:07 August 02, 2021

TOKYO, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea found itself on the verge of qualifying for the women's handball quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, following a nailbiting draw against Angola in the final group match.

Kang Eun-hye scored for South Korea with 11 seconds remaining to secure a 31-31 draw in the teams' last Group A match at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo.

Kang Eun-hye of South Korea takes a shot against Angola in the teams' Group A match of the Tokyo Olympic women's handball tournament at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 2, 2021. (Yonhap)

With the top four teams from each of the two groups reaching the quarterfinals, South Korea concluded the preliminary action in fourth place with three points from one win, one draw and three losses. Angola also ended with three points but South Korea has the edge in the goal difference tiebreaker, -18 to -26.

Japan is sitting in last place with two points but has one match remaining Monday night against the group-leading Norway. A Japan loss will send South Korea to the semifinals, and that seems almost certain. Japan, playing in its first Olympics since 1976 and only doing so as the host country, will be hard pressed to upset Norway, which won two gold medals and one bronze medal over the past three Olympics.

South Korea is trying to win its first medal since 2008. It reached the semifinals in 2012 but missed out on knockout action in 2016.

South Korea trailed by as much as 15-11 in the first half, before rallying to make it 17-16 for Angola at halftime.

Ryu Eun-hee of South Korea takes a shot against Angola in the teams' Group A match of the Tokyo Olympic women's handball tournament at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 2, 2021. (Yonhap)

The teams were all tied up at 29-29 with about five minutes to go, but Angola scored two straight goals.

Sim Hae-in cut the deficit in half with 1:32 remaining, and Kang scored the last-gasp goal to secure the valuable one point for South Korea.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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