Unresisting after Corona chaos: DHB receives heavy EM clap against Spain

Without resistance after Corona chaos
DHB receives heavy EM clap against Spain

The DHB selection, plagued by a corona outbreak, collapses in the second half of the first game of the main round of the European Championship against Spain. The Spanish keeper Pérez de Vargas, turnovers and technical problems are too much for the team. Despite the defeat, all is not lost at the European Championship.

The Corona glimmer of hope was followed by the dampener against the defending champion: Germany’s handball players suffered their first European Championship defeat in the main round cracker against Spain. The corona-weakened team of national coach Alfred Gislason lost to the European champions by 23:29 (12:14) and is now 2:2 points in the fight for the semifinals. The DHB team in Bratislava was ultimately clearly inferior to the rip-off EM champion of 2018 and 2020, despite a courageous performance at the beginning. A weak phase with a total of 15 minutes (!) without own goal was the sticking point in an initially promising game. A 0:7 run was decisive, at 12:19 (39 th ) the game was practically over.

Captain Johannes Golla and left wing Patrick Zieker were the best throwers for the German team at the start of the next phase of the tournament with four goals each. Already on Friday (8.30 p.m./ZDF) With the duel against Norway for the Kiel star player Sander Sagosen, the next difficult task awaits the DHB team. If the medal dream is to live on, the error rate must be significantly lower, especially in attack. The other main round opponents are Vice World Champion Sweden on Sunday (6 p.m./ARD) and Russia on Tuesday (6 p.m./ZDF). The top two teams in the group of six advance to the semi-finals in Budapest.

Steinert comes back

The German Handball Federation (DHB) reported good news a few hours before the throw-in: The PCR tests taken on Wednesday evening were consistently negative, so for the first time since Sunday there was no new corona case in the German team. Shortly before kick-off it got even better: Christoph Steinert was able to play against Spain – even though he was the twelfth player in the DHB team to receive a positive result on Wednesday. According to the DHB, his PCR test had a “weakly positive result”, after further tests that were exclusively negative, he was surprisingly entitled to play at short notice. “That was definitely our worst game so far,” said returnee Steinert on ARD. “It was too busy before.” He only arrived in the hall a few minutes “with a fraction” of his equipment.

But even Steinert’s substitution in the second half didn’t help. The savvy Spaniards played world class at times. The German attackers found little to stop the top team’s nimble 6-0 defense – and when they broke through, it was thwarted by a gleaming Perez de Vargas between the posts. It didn’t help that Germany found the game immediately at the beginning. Youngster Julian Köster, the outstanding German player in the preliminary round final against Poland (30:23), was again the linchpin in the offensive. At the back, the reactivated 2007 world champion Johannes Bitter got into the game splendidly – in the 8:7 (14 th ) through right winger Lukas Zerbe, the Gislason team fought for a lead for the first time.

“Guys, really good, you play it very well,” praised Gislason during his first break. Shortly thereafter, however, the number of technical errors made by the DHB team in attack increased, the initially good defense also weakened somewhat and revealed weaknesses in defense, as in the first games against Belarus (33:29) and Austria (34:20). the circle runner. The Spaniards fought for a two-goal lead with goals against – and extended it immediately after the restart. “We let ourselves be shot,” complained Gislason. While Icelander applauded euphorically before the break, he blew through after the break when the deficit continued to grow.

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