Reached the main round: handball players on course at the World Cup – Gislason: “Extremely proud”

Reached the main round: handball players on course at the World Cup – Gislason: “Extremely proud”

reached the main round
Handball players on course at World Cup – Gislason: “Extremely proud”

shows up "extremely proud of the squad": Germany's national coach Alfred Gislason.  Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa

“Extremely proud of the squad”: Germany’s national coach Alfred Gislason. photo

© Jan Woitas/dpa

The German handball players passed the first stress test at the World Cup. The DHB selection can warm up against Algeria for the fight for the quarterfinals in the second phase of the tournament.

Alfred Gislason was “extremely proud of the team” after the German handball team won the World Cup group prematurely.

But as soon as the national coach had praised his protégés for the strong performance in the 34:33 against Serbia (“it was a great game with many emotions”), he already turned his attention to the game against Algeria on Tuesday (6 p.m. / ZDF). “We want to approach the game the same way we did the first two games and of course win,” said Gislason about the sportingly meaningless task at the end of the preliminary round.

Not only DHB sports director Axel Kromer hopes that the success in Katowice, which he fought with heart and passion, will give an initial spark for the further course of the tournament, which for the German team definitely ended with 4-0 points in the final, regardless of the outcome of the Algeria game main round goes on. “I’m just happy that the boys did it,” said the 46-year-old.

Strong team spirit

captain John Golla was also excited. “I think it’s great how we support each other. When you see the emotions after successful actions, you always have the feeling that the entire team is together,” said the 25-year-old pivot, praising the team spirit and emphasizing: “I’m proud to be a part of this team.”

Goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, who was not a factor after recovering from a calf injury and after 25 minutes cleared the space between the posts for Joel Birlehm, who was later in top form, said: “We are a very homogeneous squad.” And Birlehm added: “We have a great feeling in the team from day one. We hang out with each other all the time.”

Similar tones were from the backcourt players Philip Weber to hear. “A lot has grown together in a short time. Everyone does their best and is their man,” said the 30-year-old. “By now everyone has us on their toes. They won’t underestimate us anymore.”

After the stress test, as Golla called it, passed against the individually first-class Serbs, the DHB selection now holds all the trumps in the declared fight for the quarter-finals. “This victory gives confidence and can still be very valuable for us,” said Gislason.

Norway and Superstar are waiting

In the main round, Norway with superstar Sander Sagosen from the German record champions THW Kiel and the Netherlands are definitely waiting. The third opponent will be determined on the last day of the preliminary round between North Macedonia and Argentina.

But nobody in the German camp wanted to look that far ahead. “We’re not thinking about the quarter-finals yet. The focus is now on Algeria,” said Weber. The outstanding Birlehm set the motto for the entire team: “We mustn’t sit idle now.”

That is entirely in the spirit of the national coach. The 63-year-old Icelander doesn’t even think about sparing his top performers against the North Africans. “It’s about winning the game,” said Gislason. “I’m definitely not going to start with people who haven’t played at all or only a little before.”


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