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Handball European Championship 2022 – Germany loses against Spain: on the last groove

2022-01-20T19:31:35.520Z

The resistance of the battered German handball players held - not long enough. The emergency team conceded their first European Championship defeat against Spain. Even a unique sprint didn't help.



Enlarge image

Top talent Köster has no chance against the Spanish superstars

Photo: VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP

The hope:

The top nations in handball have rehearsed their moves for years. After the twelve corona cases, Germany's national coach Alfred Gíslason only had a few training sessions (sometimes even on a voluntary basis because of the risk of infection) to get the German C team ready to play for the European Championship duel against European champions Spain. Despite or because of all the circumstances, Captain Golla said before the game: "I have great hope that we will benefit from this cohesion as a team in the years to come."

Scene of the game:

The scene in the twelfth minute was astonishing when Fabian Wiede, who had been nominated from Berlin, and youngster Julian Köster confused the Spaniards with quick rallies, and finally Wiede passed Simon Ernst to the circle with a perfect overview.

As if they had played together for years.

The goal to make it 6:6 in the meantime went through as a dream goal.

Result of the game:

But the opponent was Spain, a power in handball.

In the end, the DHB selection clearly lost their first of four games in the main round – 23:29.

Read the match report here.

Sweating:

Christoph Steinert scored nine goals in Tuesday's comfortable win against Poland. The day after, the 32-year-old also had a positive corona test – apparently extremely weakly positive. Shortly before the ball was thrown against Spain, the DHB announced that the backcourt player from HC Erlangen had tested negative several times. His release for the game was confirmed at such short notice that Steinert was no longer able to take the bus to the hall with the team. According to the DHB, he is said to have walked from the team hotel to the arcade in Bratislava, with his bag on his back.

The first half:

With captain Johannes Golla, there was still a player on the plate who would have been planned as a starting player a week ago. The rest: nominees like goalkeeper oldie Johannes Bitter, talents like Köster. Improvising is now Gíslason's main task, and getting together quickly is that of his handball players. The DHB selection passed the toughest test so far at this European Championship - against Spain, which has so far been spared by Corona - well for a long time. Mistakes only started to accumulate towards the half-time whistle, the attacks lost their overview, and the result was a 12:14 deficit.

The super talent:

He is considered the Florian Wirtz of handball.

Like the similarly young footballer Wirtz, 18, the handball player Köster, 21, spent his youth in the Leverkusen area, both went to the same school, and curiously, Köster's first handball coach was Wirtz's mother.

Against Spain, the young Köster, a giant in defense and an executor in attack, was already one of the hopefuls.

Of course, that's too much to ask for a talented second-division professional just starting out in his career.

Especially against this opponent.

The second half:

The resistance finally broke, it became clear.

Spain played all their class and experience against the weakened German squad.

She was now on the last rut – and didn't stand a chance.

The Spanish cat:

At 1.89 meters, Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas is almost a little short compared to other top goalkeepers. But that doesn't stop the Spanish goalkeeper from consistently emerging as one of the outstanding players. Everywhere he gets his fingers in between, his reflexes are unique - a cat. Against the DHB selection, the two-time European champion from FC Barcelona robbed all hope from the second half at the latest.

Is a tournament withdrawal still an option?

Should there be further cases in the DHB selection in the next few days, an exit from the EM could be discussed again.

So far, DHB and the German league have ruled this out.

The infected Timo Kastening wrote in a guest article for SPIEGEL about the isolation and he said that the team would like to continue the EM.

Outlook:

In the next few days, the first infected could return to the DHB team - theoretically.

The first corona case in the team, Julius Kühn, could have already tested himself for the Spain game.

According to the DHB, he is symptom-free.

But his PCR tests are still positive, so he is not available for the Norway game on Friday (8:30 p.m.) either.

Outlook II:

The German handball players would have to take at least second place in their main round group in order to fulfill their dream of reaching the semi-finals.

The upcoming opponents, Norway, Sweden and Russia, are also to be assessed more strongly in the current situation.

The Norwegian handball players are there for the simple reason that, like Spain, they have not had a single case of corona to complain about.

Quote of the game:

"I had all the feelings in the world," said Steinert, who was not corona positive, when he was told that he was allowed to play.

"I put on some pants and started sprinting." The good mood is still there.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-01-20

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