As of: 01/18/2022 7:59 p.m
Despite all the corona worries, the German national handball team prevailed against Poland at the European Championships and created a brilliant starting position for the main round.
The Germans won on Tuesday evening (01/18/2022) in the third and last preliminary round game with 30:23 (15:12) against the Poles. Both teams were already confirmed as main round participants before the game.
Germany will take the two fresh points into the next round and, thanks to this victory, will start the fight for the semi-finals with a lot of momentum. There it is now against Norway, Sweden, Spain and Russia. Two of the six teams advance to the last four.
Corona concerns for both teams
After the various Corona failures, the DHB selection went into the game with 13 field players and only one goalkeeper. In addition to Johannes Bitter, Paul Drux, Fabian Wiede, Sebastian Firnhaber and Rune Dahmke were new to the squad. Till Klimpke and Marcel Schiller also had to pass at short notice after positive corona tests on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Daniel Rebmann and left winger Patrick Zieker are expected to come on Wednesday. Due to the corona virus, the Poles did not start the tournament with their best possible squad either.
Good German defense – Steinert and Köster strong up front
Shortly after the start of the game, the DHB team noticed that there was no lack of motivation. In defense, Patrick Wiencek, Johannes Golla and Co. got down to business – better than in the other two preliminary round games. At the front, on the other hand, the ball was not really smooth at first, there was often a risk of passive play, and some inaccuracies crept in. At first there was a lot of struggle on both sides and little glamor, after eleven minutes it was only 3:3.
Driven by an outstanding Christoph Steinert, who scored six times out of six attempts in the first half, the Germans then managed to score consistently. After almost 20 minutes it was 8:5 and Poland’s coach Patryk Rombel was forced to take a break for the first time. National coach Alfred Gislason brought the young second division player Julian Köster in response, who ran really hot and visibly revived the DHB attack. The German half-time lead of 15:12 at the break was well deserved.
Highly concentrated until the end
And although the Poles started the second half with two quick goals, the Germans continued to shape the game from the front. Gislason kept making changes and made good use of his broad and balanced squad despite the absences. With less than twenty minutes to go, Rombel called his second time-out. At this point the Germans were in the lead for the first time with five goals – 20:15.
In the meantime, the 21-year-old Köster could no longer be caught by the Poles and always kept an eye out for his neighbors. The German defense also remained very alert and agile. Wiencek and Co. weren’t in too much trouble because of Rombel’s additional seventh field player, and they were the foundation of an exciting German game, even in phases that were a bit bumpy in the meantime.
Steinert scored nine times in total, Köster and Golla contributed six goals. On Thursday we face Spain in the first main round match.