By Ijeoma Okigbo
Nigeria’s under-24 male handball team on Wednesday lost their opening game to hosts Bulgaria at the fourth International Handball Federation (IHF) Emerging Nations Championship.
The game played at the Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna saw the hosts beat their African rivals 23-19 to make it their second win in the tournament.
They had earlier defeated Azerbaijan.
Nigeria managed to stay close in the game and exerted some pressure on Bulgaria, especially with the first half ending 11-13 in favour of the hosts.
The Europeans however showed they wanted the win more, beating the Nigerian team being coached by Solomon Yola by four points to stay top on Group D.
Nigeria will face Azerbaijan on Thursday, with a win securing them a spot in the tournament’s placement matches.
Meanwhile, the two wins have qualified Bulgaria to the semi-finals of the tournament where they face Cuba, the top team in Group C, on Saturday.
A total of 12 teams, grouped into four are currently participating in the tournament, which is expected to end on Sunday. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)