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Handball World Cup: Germany defeats Qatar


First he showed strong saves, then Andreas Wolff left the hall limping: The goalkeeper was the focus of Germany's World Cup opening win. About a pinching calf and a 22-year-old who has become indispensable.

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Goalkeeper Andreas Wolff has to leave shortly before the end of the game


IMAGO/Marco Wolf / IMAGO/wolf-sports photo

Scene of the game:

Lukas Mertens was standing on one foot and the left winger didn't have time to get his second foot on the floor.

The game clock in the German opening duel at the Handball World Championship was 29:58 minutes, the half-time whistle would have sounded in two seconds, and so Mertens took the pass in the air during a counterattack and almost in the same breath he fired the ball at it Qatar gate off.

The ball landed in the right corner of the goal, and the entire German team celebrated the goal to make it 18:13.

Then the gong rang for the break.

Result of the game:

The German handball players in Katowice, Poland, did not always stay as awake as Mertens did in that scene.

Qatar pressed for the equalizer again, goalkeeper Andreas Wolff had to show some strong saves.

Only at the very end did it become clear again – 31:27.

There is still room for improvement, but the start of the Handball World Cup in Poland and Sweden could not have gone better for the DHB selection with two points.

Read the match report here.

A new hope:

The game was not ten minutes old, but the short time was enough for Juri Knorr to deliver an initial explanation as to why he had been chosen as the new German handball hope in the run-up to this World Cup.

The 22-year-old repeatedly brought the ball to the line runner in the tightest of spaces, showed his game intelligence and was also successful as a shooter.

The DHB selection had to do without their young playmaker at the European Championship last year, Knorr did not want to be vaccinated (read more about his decision here) and was therefore not eligible to play.

This topic is behind him, he is now indispensable.

In the end, he was the key man in the win with eight goals and was named player of the match.

Record man:

Christian Schwarzer, Stefan Kretzschmar or Heiner Brand, German handball has many well-known names, often they are greats of the past.

In the history books there is now a name of the present, Patrick Groetzki.

The player from the Rhein-Neckar Löwen is at the World Cup in Poland and Sweden for the seventh time at a World Cup finals and no other German player has managed that before him.

Against Qatar, the right winger showed an impressive first half, in which he repeatedly occupied the Qatar defense with his tempo runs.

After the game, Groetzki called the record a "beautiful story".

Qatar in handball?

There was something!

It's been eight years since the Qatar handball selection actually became vice world champion.

For the 2015 World Cup in their own country, Qatar used a loophole in the regulations of the World Handball Federation (IHF) and signed several international stars for the Qatari selection.

Eight years is a long time in sport, the IHF has adjusted its rules, Qatar's former stars have gotten older - and so the selection from tournament to tournament is shrinking back to normal size.

One of the seven remaining naturalized people in the team is the Cuban Rafael Capote, who was one of the top players in handball for a long time.

But he is already 35 and Capote has passed his peak.

His hit rate (five goals in eleven attempts) was not even 50 percent against the DHB selection.

The ever-player:

It makes sense to compare Johannes Golla with a machine.

The powerhouse, 1.95 meters tall and weighing 110 kilograms, is probably the most important player in Alfred Gíslason's system and actually never needs a breather.

Against Qatar, Golla was constantly playable in attack and could be seen as a goal scorer in the circle - and seconds later he was again defending with all his strength against Qatar's attackers.

A year and a half ago, Gíslason surprisingly made Flensburg his captain when Golla was just 23 years old.

It is said that the team spirit under team leader Golla is very good.

This could also be due to the fact that the always-playing Golla is a good role model with his efforts.

The savior:

By the 50th minute, however, Qatar had come within one goal and the German team were lucky that goalkeeper Wolff saved his best moments for that period.

It's a special World Cup for the 31-year-old. Wolff is at home in the club near Kielce in Poland, and his home is almost 150 kilometers from the German venue of Katowice.

In the 58th minute, Wolff prevented the 27:29 with an outstanding high leg defense and finally made the victory clear.

However, the goalkeeper missed the final seconds of the game, limping as he left the hall.

"He said his calf was tight," Gíslason said of the substitution. "We took him out so there wasn't a strain."

Outlook of the game:

Wolff and his teammates don't have much time to relax.

Serbia is waiting on Sunday and this opponent is considered to be the strongest in the preliminary round.

Although Germany now has excellent chances of making it into the main round thanks to the opening win (the top three in each group reach this round), the points scored in the preliminary round against opponents who also reach the main round will be taken with them.

The mode sounds a bit complicated, you can also shorten it: A win against Serbia would be enormously important for Germany's chances at the World Cup.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-01-13

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