- Cameroon has defeated Paraguay 26-23 in the last preliminary group games to qualify for the main round of the IHF women’s world championship
- The team suffered two defeats to Montenegro and Hungary before registering this monumental win against Paraguay
- This is the first time the lionesses will get to participate in the main round of the championship,after three previous failed attempts
The handball Lionesses of Cameroon have defeated Paraguay 26-23 on Monday December 4 , to qualify for the main round of the IHF women’s world championship.
In a pivotal encounter, both contenders vied for a coveted position in the main round, and the contest was closely-fought. Ultimately, Cameroon emerged victorious with a remarkable triumph over Paraguay, marking their inaugural entry into the main round.
This advancement represents a monumental achievement for Bertin Tabeth Njantou’s squad, who had not previously advanced beyond the group stage in their three earlier appearances at the IHF Women’s World Championship.Now, they will proceed to Gothenburg to partake in the Main Round Group I.
Prior to this match at Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023, both adversaries had faced defeats. However, Cameroon held a marginally better goal differential, making a tie sufficient for their progression. Nonetheless, the lionesses took charge early on, securing a 6:2 lead just eight minutes into the game.
Paraguay remained composed, and a series of swift counterattacks enabled them to equalize at 8:8. The first half continued with fluctuating fortunes, culminating in a 12:12 deadlock at the interval, reflecting the evenly matched competition.
Upon resumption, Cameroon maintained a slender edge, yet could not extend their lead beyond two goals for an extended period. However, Paola Ebanga, the match’s leading scorer with nine goals, ignited a 3:0 surge between the 45th and 49th minutes, reinstating a four-goal advantage for the Africans at 22:18.
Fueled by Fernanda Insfran’s seven-goal performance, Paraguay narrowed the gap to two goals once more. But as the decisive moments approached, tension gripped both teams, leading to a spate of missed opportunities, and the score line of 24:22 stood unchanged from the 54th to the 59th minute.
Ebanga’s ninth goal however sealed the deal for Cameroon’s 26:23 victory.
Post match reaction from Bertin Tabeth Njantou, head coach of the Cameroon Senior Ladies Handball national team is one of happiness and joy for this milestone achievement.
“It’s a feeling of satisfaction, pride and joy. Because we came to the world championship with the ambition to do better than in previous editions by going as far as possible in the competition. We will say that the first objective has been achieved. Now, we can only congratulate our players who deserve the credit. What made us strong during this decisive match was to continue to believe after the defeats conceded in the first two matches. I would also like to salute the performance of the Paraguayan team which caused us a lot of problems. Fortunately, we were able to win this match.”
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