After the hoped-for sense of achievement at the end of the Euro Cup, Germany’s handball players were bid farewell by the fans with thunderous applause. Led by the outstanding Juri Knorr and with a strong Andreas Wolff in goal, the team of national coach Alfred Gislason achieved their first victory on Sunday in Berlin with a 32:31 (20:11) against Spain third in the World Cup in the sixth and last game of the competition . “That was important for the head,” said Gislason.
With the performance, which was convincing over long stretches, the DHB selection fueled some euphoria on the way to the home European Championship 2024 after the recent bankruptcies against European champions Sweden and world champion Denmark. Halle director Knorr with 13 goals.
“We showed that we can beat a big player in the top four in the world. That gives a good feeling,” said goalkeeper Wolff. And Knorr stated: “It was good to win again and it was extremely important to start the summer break with a win.”
Gislason especially praised the way the win was played out. Even if things didn’t go as smoothly in the second half as before the break. “It was fun to watch. It’s a shame that it was only a one-goal difference in the end. It should have been five or six goals,” said the 63-year-old Icelander.
Three days after the heavy 23:32 bankruptcy in Sweden, the German team tried to make amends from the start. The defense was compact, behind Wolff was the usual support with numerous saves.
But even more important: in the end, the DHB selection acted much more concentrated than last time in Sweden and in the clear defeats against Denmark (21:28/23:30). The reward was an early three-goal lead (7:4/9th minute), in which Knorr played a large part with four goals in the early stages.
The 22-year-old was then also the pacesetter and executor in the German game, which for the first time was reminiscent of the refreshing appearances at the World Cup and ripped the spectators from their seats. After 24 minutes, the DHB team had rushed to seven goals at 17:10.
During this phase, Spain, third in the World Cup and second in the European Championship, found no means against the powerful attacking game of the German team, which also repeatedly found solutions against the offensive defense of their rivals. “The first half was great,” praised Gislason. At half-time, his protégés were bid farewell to thunderous applause in the dressing room.
After the change, world-class goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas moved between the posts and defused the first two throws. The DHB team also made some technical errors as a result, so that the lead melted away. At 23:18 (39th), the national coach reacted with a time-out.
After that it was again Knorr who ended the goal drought that lasted several minutes. The German team was now better in the game again, but had to accept a personnel setback in the middle of the second half. Captain Johannes Golla received his third time penalty and thus the red card. The circle runner, who scored six goals, was missing as a defender.
The Spaniards took advantage of this and came within two goals at 25:27 (49th). Just as the game threatened to tip over, the DHB selection tightened again and celebrated a deserved success in the end.