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Second EM bankruptcy: German handball players also lose against Norway

Sport Second EM bankruptcy

German handball players also lose against Norway

Status: 10:11 p.m

Handball - EHF 2022 Men's European Handball Championship - Main Round - Germany v Norway - Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia - January 21, 2022 Norway's Sander Sagosen in action REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa

Hard to stop: Norway’s superstar Sander Sagosen

Which: REUTERS

After a flawless preliminary round, the weakened German national team has to accept its second defeat at the European Handball Championship. Due to the bankruptcy against Norway, the chances of progressing are only small.

Dhe dream of the EM semi-finals is becoming ever more distant for Germany’s corona-plagued handball players. The team of national coach Alfred Gislason lost on Friday evening against co-favorite Norway with 23:28 (12:14) and thus conceded the second main round defeat within two days.

In view of the already four minus points, moving into the knockout phase is theoretically still possible, but the German team no longer has it in their own hands.

Again, there is not much time to quarrel. The next chance for a sense of achievement at the tournament in Slovakia and Hungary is offered by the DHB selection this Sunday (6 p.m. / ARD) against record European champions Sweden. The best thrower of the German team in front of 2026 spectators in Bratislava was Johannes Golla with four goals. Ultimately, the team, which was thrown together due to numerous corona cases, simply lacked the class against the Norwegians around their superstar Sander Sagosen (THW Kiel).

Old man in goal very strong

39-year-old Johannes Bitter was once again one of Germany’s best in goal. The veteran, who had actually resigned from the national team, was only nominated because of the positive corona tests from Andreas Wolff and Till Klimpke, but he played against the Scandinavians from the start as if he had never been away.

In the first round, Bitter parried a number of throws. He had a strong rate of 39 percent saved balls – and yet the Norwegians pulled away. Because the longer the game lasted, the more problems there were in the German attack. The DHB selection either left good chances or was noticed by bad passes.

January 21, 2022, Slovakia, Bratislava: Handball: European Championship, Germany - Norway, main round, group 2, 2nd matchday.  Germany's Johannes Bitter gestures.  Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa +++ dpa picture radio +++

Germany’s keeper Johannes Bitter

Source: dpa

Friday had started well. For the second day in a row, no other national player tested positive for Corona. Nevertheless, eleven actors are still in isolation in their hotel rooms. They also had to watch this game in front of the TV.

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GislasonSpeitz_012

Among them is still backcourt player Julius Kühn, who was the first national player to test positive last Saturday. In theory, the 28-year-old could have played again against the Norwegians, but his test result on Friday still showed a value that “did not meet the requirements for a return to the tournament,” as the DHB announced. So Gislason relied on the same 16 players as in the 23:29 on Thursday against Spain.

“Too little throwing precision”

But his motley squad, which was made up of a number of late nominees, found it increasingly difficult against the Scandinavians. “I think it’s mainly because we’re making these unforced mistakes, as so often,” said DHB sports director Axel Kromer at the break. “Of course we also have too little throwing precision.”

It didn’t help that Bitter held up outstandingly at times or that the German defense was solid most of the time. In attack, hardly anything came together from the middle of the first half. Ultimately, the badly decimated DHB selection could not compensate for the considerable personnel problems. “I’m still very proud of my boys, they gave everything,” said Gislason after the game.

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After all, the national coach and his players now have a day to at least reasonably prepare for the next opponent. It might even be possible to train before the game against the Swedes, which wasn’t always the case at this curious European Championship.

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