At the Faouzi Sahli Hall, in Hammamet, Portugal revealed some weaknesses, both defensively and offensively, and Austria took advantage of this to reach half-time leading 18-17 and extend the lead in the second half to seven goals (34-27).
With some absences and adding new players, Portugal started well, achieving some five-goal leads, but the lack of consistency in their game ended up allowing Austria to reach half-time leading by one goal (18-17).
In the second half, in which Portugal only managed to score 10 goals, the Austrian team took a lead of four, at 22-18, with a 4-1 partial, with just six minutes having passed.
Portugal still reacted and reduced the difference twice, at 24-23 and 25-24, but a 9-3 run in the final part of the match dictated the final difference in the scoreboard by seven goals (34-27).
National coach Paulo Pereira, giving shape to the ongoing renovation in the selection, promoted the debuts with the main jersey of the ‘quinas’ of central Gonçalo Vieira, the Portuguese top scorer, with five goals, and full-back Miguel Baptista.
Lucas Hutecek, with 10 goals, was the Austrian team’s standout player.
The Portuguese team faces Switzerland on Friday, at 2:30 pm (Lisbon time), and ends its participation in the tournament on Saturday, at 4:00 pm, against hosts Tunisia.
Portugal’s participation in the Kempa Trophy is part of the preparation for Euro2024, taking place in January next year in Germany, in which the Portuguese team is part of Group F, together with Denmark, the Czech Republic and Greece.