Handball World Cup: DHB team starts with gala against Argentina in the main round of the World Cup

Handball World Cup
DHB team starts with gala against Argentina in the main round of the World Cup

The German handball players around Patrick Groetzki (l) also cheered against Argentina.  Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa

The German handball players around Patrick Groetzki (l) also cheered against Argentina. photo

© Jan Woitas/dpa

Germany’s handball players are continuing their winning streak at the World Cup. In the first main round game, the DHB selection outclassed Argentina. Now, however, a completely different caliber awaits.

national coach Alfred Gislason trotted contentedly and completely relaxed through the hall, his players were celebrated by the fans who had traveled with them after the final whistle.

And no matter which face of the German handball players you looked at after the 39:19 (24:11) gala against Argentina: almost everyone had a big smile on their face in Katowice, Poland. Thanks to the clear victory, the DHBselection not only successfully started the hot phase of the World Cup, they have also taken another step towards the quarter-finals.

“The Germans have shown again and again that they are a tournament team – and that shows the team right now that things are getting better and better,” said Gislason from Iceland. “Everything or a lot works, but of course we are now challenged again against Holland.” The significantly stronger Dutch are on Saturday (8:30 p.m./ZDF) next opponent – then it could already be about the targeted ticket for the knockout round.

“Today we all have to be very satisfied. We didn’t expect it to be so clear,” said national player Juri gnarled: “On a day like today it’s really fun to play handball.” Captain Johannes Golla, Patrick Groetzki and Lukas Mertens were the most successful throwers of the German team with five goals each in front of around 2500 spectators, who never gave the overwhelmed South Americans a chance and now have 6-0 points in Group 3.

Now against them Netherlands

Gislason’s team warmed up in the best possible way for the next game against the Netherlands. “We have to be very good in defence. Even better than today,” demanded Gislason with a view to the next task: “Now it’s getting harder and harder, and that’s how it will be.” Backcourt player Philipp Weber also spoke of a “really tough game against the Netherlands, in which we hope we can play with the same flow as today.”

The German team needed a few seconds to warm up against the Argentines, but then they literally swept over their opponents. After less than a minute, Andreas Wolff made the first brilliant save in goal. This action by the 31-year-old was, so to speak, the starting signal for a brilliant performance by the DHB selection. After seven minutes, Germany was already leading 6:2, after 15 minutes Argentina’s coach felt compelled to call his second time-out. Goal, defense, attack: everything worked.

The South Americans’ coach covered his face several times before the break in disbelief. No matter what his team tried, it couldn’t stop the German Express. Even their internationally highly decorated playmaker Diego Simonet could hardly find their way into the game. Because the German team just wouldn’t let him.

The defensive around captain and defense chief Golla fended off almost everything. Whatever throws came through, Wolff parried. And on the offensive, as so often in this tournament, the once again strong Knorr conducted.

Wolff outstanding

In the first round alone, the DHB selection converted 86 percent of their chances. In addition, Wolff showed an outstanding performance in goal. After the break, Gislason then relied on Joel Birlehm, who has also been strong at this World Cup. “It was certainly not to be expected that we would get into the main round after this preliminary round,” said DHB sports director Axel Kromer. “So far, everything that could have worked has worked.”

That’s why Gislason could allow himself to rest some of his regular players in the second 30 minutes. Not only goalkeeper Birlehm came in now, the Icelander changed practically his entire starting line-up. This gave players like Djibril M’Bengue, Rune Dahmke, Luca Witzke and Jannik Kohlbacher more minutes to play, which could also be important in view of the duel with the significantly stronger Dutch team.

“You don’t have a chance without Messi,” chanted some of the German supporters in light of Argentina’s lack of a chance. In fact, the DHB selection never decreased. In the end, one could almost feel sorry for the South Americans.


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