Reigning champions Al Najma will face off against the UAE’s Al Sharjah club this evening in the second semi-final of the 39th GCC Clubs Handball Tournament at the Khalifa Sports City Arena.
The defending champions are unbeaten so far in the championship, having won all three of their Group A matches to top the four-team table with six points.
Al Najma started their title defence in fine style last Wednesday by strolling past Kuwait’s Al Salmiya in a comfortable 27-22 win. Two days later, the Bahraini club steam-rolled Oman’s Ahli Sidab in a comprehensive 33-25 victory before edging past Qatar’s Al Arabi by just one point last Sunday in a thrilling 27-26 win.
Al Sharjah, by contrast, could consider themselves fortunate to have made the last-four stage.
After drawing their first Group B game, 24-24, against Saudi Arabia’s Al Safa club five days ago, they lost, 29-28, by just one point in another thriller to tournament favourites Al Kuwait to lie last in the four-team table with one must-win match to go.
And win it, they did on Monday as they broke Al Ahli supporters’ hearts by inflicting a 26-23 defeat on the Bahraini club to leapfrog into second place with three points in the Group B table and set up a semi-final clash with Al Najma.
The game is scheduled to start at 7pm.
Meanwhile, Al Kuwait, who slumped to a surprise 26-25 defeat to Al Safa on Monday in their last Group B match but still topped the table with four points, will take on Al Arabi, who came second in Group A, in the first semi-final which will start at 5pm.