Iceland was one down, 13-14, at half-time but quickly equalized in the second half with a goal from Aron Pálmarsson. But by three minutes in, Russia were two goals ahead.
Iceland managed to equalize again at six minutes, and were three up, 19-16, until 13 minutes when Mikhail Chipurin scored for Russia.
“We made a bunch of mistakes. I take responsibility,” captain Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson told Fréttablaðið.
Iceland had greater success when they came up against Chile on Day 2, Sunday, winning 28-22.
Several new players recently joined the national team in men’s handball. Guðjón Valur said that he was happy with the performance of the new, younger players.
Chile are playing in their second World Championship. The team was ranked 22nd at the last Championship in 2011. Iceland placed 6th.
Iceland, Chile and Russia are in Group B in the preliminary round along with Denmark, Macedonia and Qatar.
Iceland is currently in fourth place in Group B with two points. The team plays Macedonia at 6 pm CET tomorrow, Denmark at 20:15 CET on Wednesday and Qatar at 6 pm CET on Friday.
At the last World Championship in 2011, Iceland placed sixth. France, Denmark and Spain took the top three spots, respectively, followed by Sweden in fourth and Croatia in fifth.
The World Championship runs from January 11 to 27. The competition takes place at four locations, Granollers, Sevilla, Madrid and Zaragoza.
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