Opinion: Lads, Handball Is Absolutely Unreal

Opinion: Lads, Handball Is Absolutely Unreal
By Mikey Traynor

I've caught the bug.

I'm drinking a cup of tea at 1:15am in my living room watch the Olympics on BBC because RTÉ are showing gymnastics and if I wanted to see flips I'd just watch an Obafemi Martins highlights video on YouTube.

Egypt vs Sweden in the handball is what I've been told I'm watching, and within two minutes I was absolutely hooked.

I'm sure there are handball enthusiasts all over the country but I am completely ignorant to this sport aside from playing a relaxed rules version of it once or twice in P.E. when I was a child. The only thing I know about it that's a big deal in continental Europe and you throw the ball into the goal on a futsal pitch.

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At first glance it can look boring in parts, as there is a lot of passing back and forth while they try to stretch a defense and work an opening, and the defensive shape reminded me of basketball, but when an attempt to score comes it seems to be rare that it isn't seriously entertaining.

Sweden were clearly the bigger dog in this fight, or so the commentator told me, but Egypt were holding their own. It was clear that it was going to be a close finish, and there were some ridiculous goals being scored.

This undeniably Swedish man took a dig and still nutmegged the keeper on a counter attack:

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That chap is 19 by the way.

And Egypt responded with an absolute peach, before their keeper pulled off a great save and I learned that the 25-year-old Khalil plays for El-Geish who are 6th in the Egyptian league.

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FRUSTRATION for Frederik Petersen! Guys are tearing their shirts, the coach looks like a villain from a Mighty Ducks movie. So much drama.

It stayed at that intensity right until the end. Maybe I happened to catch the handball game of the year, but it was bloody brilliant and I'll certainly watch it again as soon as I get the chance.

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It's so easy to grasp, and you pick up techniques and styles so quickly that you can feel like you know what you are talking about within a few plays, which is what everybody wants from an Olympic sport.

If you were wondering how the match finished, Egypt got a late winner and made a defensive stop to get a massive win. An underdog story and all, complete with the incredible scenes:

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Lads, handball is unreal.

SEE ALSO: The Obscure Olympic Sports That You Should Be Watching

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