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Handball World Cup: Iran's goalkeeper conceded 41 goals

2021-12-06T13:16:30.133Z

The Iranian handball players had no chance against Norway. When goalkeeper Fatemeh Khalili Behfar was named the best player, there was applause from the opponent - and tears of emotion.



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Fatemeh Khalili Behfar: It wasn't because of her that her team lost

Photo:

Beate Grandma Dahle / picture alliance / NTB

41 goals against, that's a lot in handball.

That's how many the Iranian national team conceded at the Women's World Cup in Spain on Sunday evening.

The opponents from Norway were way too strong, it was 9:41 in the end.

No wonder: handball is a tradition with the Norwegians, they won two Olympic gold and three world championship titles and are current European champions.

Iran's women handball players are at a World Cup for the first time.

So the big defeat came as no surprise.

The choice to be the player of the game is more likely.

Namely, the award was not made to a Norwegian, but to Iran's goalkeeper, Fatemeh Khalili Behfar.

Despite the many goals they conceded, they had delivered a strong game.

The world association's Twitter channel attested her a “sensational achievement”.

When Khalili's name was announced by the hall spokesman, cheers broke out among the Iranian players.

And the opponents?

Applauded the goalkeeper.

Khalili accepted her award, visibly moved, and for a few moments she hid her face with the World Cup mascot that was presented to her.

Shortly afterwards she disappeared completely - surrounded by her teammates.

"History made"

The underdogs had started the game ideally beforehand, they were 2-1 ahead, it was the first World Cup lead in the history of the Iranian handball players.

But it quickly became clear how big the difference between the two teams was.

Until the break, the Norwegians only conceded one goal in 27 minutes.

The fact that it was 3:22 at halftime was also due to Khalili, who prevented a clearer deficit with seven saves.

Her team had no chance at the start of the World Cup, but she herself was pretty strong.

At 11:39 against Romania, she made 18 saves.

The 25-year-old does not play for any top international club, she is under contract with Foolad Sepahan Isfahan in her home country.

There, in Iran, she is now being celebrated for her achievements.

"Fararu.com" classified the performance against Norway as a "brilliant achievement", because it "made history".

Even some people from the handball industry may not have heard the name Fatemeh Khalili before this World Cup, it was said, but: "From now on it will be difficult to forget your name."

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Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-12-06

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