The last game of the 2018 IHF Super Globe was simply heartbreaking – despite a brave and tactically clever display by Sydney Uni, the Asian champions of Al-Najma got the better of them in the end, winning 28:26.

Like so often, it was the little things which decided this tight encounter – and one could not help but notice that there was just that little bit of luck missing. The post saved several times for the beaten Al-Najma goalkeeper, none of the bounce backs seemed to find the hands of our boys, and none of the critical referee decisions seemed to go our way.

And then, Sydney again missed the really big points, like when they had fought back to 19:20, after being 12:17 down at half time, and the shot to equalise bounced from one post to the other, and then out again.

And so the score never leveled – whatever Sydney threw at it, Al-Najma proved experienced enough to hold on, just about. Roth and Puyhardy’s boys left everything on the court, but it just was not quite enough. But it was undoubtedly a performance to be proud of – and yet another prove that Sydney can play at eye level with the best clubs in Asia.

Sydney Uni HC vs. Al-Najma  26:28 (12:17)

Sydney Uni HC played with: Ritschel, Takken; Roby (3), Haon (2), Valenzuela (3), Andre, Faurschou (1), Sancho, Mahdizadeh (5), Deniault (1), Vecten (3), Szklarski (2), Perronneau (5), Traverso (1), Oliveira, Le Petit. Coaches: Roth, Puyhardy