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Al Ahly 26-37 Barça: Semifinals bound
The blaugranes will take on Füchse Berlin in the next round after a strong second half against the Egyptian outfit confirms the win (PHOTOS: IHF / Jozo Cabraja / Kolektiff)
The FC Barcelona handball team are through to the last four of the SuperGlobe tournament. The blaugranas defeated Al Ahly (26-37) after coming through to confirm the win in the second half. Pol Valera performed strongly, scoring seven goals, and was ably supported by Carlsbogard and Dika Mem with four goals each.
Control gradually achieved
The blaugranes may have come into the game as favourites, but the Egyptian side began strongly to make it hard for Carlos Ortega's side to score, with nothing to choose between the sides for the early stages.
The Catalans first opened up a three goal lead after 26 minutes (13-16), which they conserved at the break. The only downside from the half saw N'Guessan get a red card, but Carlsbogard stepped up to score two vital goals, halftime score 16-19.
Game closed out
The blaugranes came out looking to extend the lead, which they did based on a solid defence and accuracy in front of goal. Pol Valera quickly helped take the Catalans into a +6 lead.
The Egyptians ultimately waned, which allowed Barça to press on to win (26-37) and book their place in the intercontinental tournament's last four. Carlos Ortega's side next face the current European League champions Füchse Berlín in the semifinal on Saturday at 3.30pm CET.
En Ahly, 26 Barça, 37
Al Ahly: Ibrahim, Khairy, Hesham, Abdou, El Masry, Ramadan, Hasan - starting seven - Ashour, Ahmed, Nabil, Magdy, Rashid, Dahroug, Saifeldeen, Adel
Barça: Pérez de Vargas, Aleix, D. Mem, Valera, Frade, N'Guessan, Ariño - starting seven - Wanne, Langaro, Carlsbogard, Petar Cikusa, Richardson, Blaz Janc, Javier Rodriguez, Petrus, Nielsen.