The Portuguese handball team lost 33-30 at home to the Netherlands, in the first leg of the World Cup qualifying play-off.
The defeat leaves the road to the final stage of the World Cup further away, but the three-goal difference allows the Portuguese team to continue dreaming of being present in the competition that is being played in Sweden and Poland.
At half-time, the team led by Paulo Jorge Pereira was losing by a goal difference (17-16), as a result of the great difficulties felt in the defense.
The very fast and mobile attack led by central Luc Steins managed to gain an advantage over the Portuguese defense almost always, forcing Portugal to chase after the result from the sixth minute of the match.
In the second half, Portugal clearly improved in defense, but lowered their offensive effectiveness, despite having taken the lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Some precipitation in the last minutes and the greater foresight of the opponent, prevented the Portuguese team from tying the game.
In the last attack, Kay Smits scored and gave the three-goal lead to the second leg, which takes place in Eindhoven on Sunday.
Note for Kiko Costa’s debut for the main team. the Sporting winger, just 17 years old, scored two goals in his first cap.