The National U18 Men’s handball team will, today, take on their Nicaraguan counterparts in their opening game of the International Handball Federation (IHF) Trophy Intercontinental championship holding in Costa Rica.

Matches will be played at the BN Arena in San Jose, with winners of the event automatically qualifying for the World Championships. Nigeria, finalists at the 2019 edition in Kosovo, where they lost narrowly (26 to 27) to Chinese Taipei, are the African champions. It is their second time at the IHF world championship.

The Coach Emeka Nnamani tutored-team are scheduled to take on Nicaragua, Georgia, Guadeloupe and Tahiti in a round-robin format. At the end of contests, the team with the most points will win the trophy.

Team Nigeria, which left the country at the weekend, is made up of mostly players that participated and won the Africa Zone 3 tournament in Cote d’Ivoire and the continental tournament in Congo Brazzaville.

Nnamani has expressed confidence in his team’s ability to make the country proud in the six-day championship, considering their intensive camping at the Rowe Park Sports Centre, Lagos.

Five national teams from different continents will fight for the two trophies in the U-18 and U-20 competitions. They are Georgia, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua, Nigeria and Tahiti at the U-18 tournament, and Australia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Great Britain and Guinea at the U-20 event.

Notably, none of the participating nations is represented in both events, which began on Monday and will end on March 11 with winners automatically qualifying for the World Championships.

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