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Victory against Russia: “This is our personal European title” – handball players celebrate farewell victory

Sport success against Russia

“This is our personal European title” – handball players celebrate farewell victory

As of 8:41 p.m

January 25, 2022, Slovakia, Bratislava: Handball, European Championship., Germany - Russia, main round, group 2, 4th matchday.  Germany's Tobias Reichmann celebrates a goal.  Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa +++ dpa picture radio +++

Home with success: Tobias Reichmann (right) celebrates the victory over Russia

Source: dpa

With a core team of only 13 players, the German national team wins against Russia at the European Handball Championship. It’s the happy ending to a tournament that will go down in history for the circumstances surrounding it.

DGermany’s severely decimated handball players leave the European Championship, which was shaped by the Corona chaos, with a sense of achievement. Thanks to a strong fighting performance, the DHB selection, which had shrunk to 13 players, prevailed against Russia on Tuesday evening with 30:29 (16:12).

Captain Johannes Golla, Tobias Reichmann and Patrick Zieker were the top scorers in Bratislava with five goals each for the German team, who had no chance of reaching the semi-finals of the tournament in Slovakia and Hungary before the game. Instead, national coach Alfred Gislason and his remaining protégés will be making their journey home by charter flight to Frankfurt on Wednesday morning.

January 25, 2022, Slovakia, Bratislava: Handball, European Championship., Germany - Russia, main round, group 2, 4th matchday.  Germany's Johannes Golla throws at goal.  Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa +++ dpa picture radio +++

Captain Johannes Golla (right) once again shows a strong game

Source: dpa

A number of his players had already left the team hotel in the Slovakian capital. For the final tournament game, the already decimated squad of the DHB selection had become even smaller. National coach Alfred Gislason is actually allowed to call up 16 players for the European Championship games, at least 14 were planned this time – but then the Icelander also did without Hendrik Wagner at short notice.

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The backcourt player made his tournament debut against Sweden last Sunday after his corona infection and several days of quarantine, but complained of breathing problems after a few minutes.

Kuriosis EM

So this time there were only 13 players in the German squad, fewer than ever before at this curious European Championship. Gislason wasn’t even able to put up a real defense because after the positive corona tests from Patrick Wiencek and Simon Ernst, only Golla was left as a defensive specialist.

Nevertheless, the DHB selection got off to a good start, which was also due to the strong goalkeeper Daniel Rebmann. The post-nominated tournament debutant from Frisch Auf Göppingen was allowed to start at the European Championship for the first time and impressed with numerous saves. Germany was quickly leading by four goals.

But who can blame Gislason’s side for the mistakes that followed? Of the original squad with which the Icelander started the journey to the European Championship, only Julian Köster, Philipp Weber, Lukas Zerbe and Golla were spared from the virus – a total of 15 players were affected.

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This is another reason why the DHB selection lacked automation. Instead of managing the lead, they kept making mistakes in attack. Weber in particular caught the eye with numerous misses, and other experienced players such as Tobias Reichmann and Fabian Wiede also missed some of the best chances. But Gislason stayed calm on the sidelines this time.

January 25, 2022, Slovakia, Bratislava: Handball, European Championship., Germany - Russia, main round, group 2, 4th matchday.  Germany's head coach Alfred Gislason reacts to the course of the game.  Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa +++ dpa picture radio +++

National coach Alfred Gislason is not completely satisfied

Source: dpa

Instead of despairing of his team’s deficits, the 62-year-old was patient during his time-outs. What should he have asked for? Due to the chronic lack of defenders, 21-year-old Köster from second division club VfL Gummersbach had to help out in the center of defense, and at some point there was a lack of stamina on offense.

Nevertheless, it was enough to succeed in the end. Using a Kempa trick, Zieker scored the winning goal twelve seconds before the final whistle. And thus ensured that the DHB selection can start the journey home on Wednesday with a long-missed sense of achievement. the DHB selection the journey home with a long-missed sense of achievement. “This is our personal European title,” said goalkeeper Johannes Bitter, describing the importance of the success.

National coach Gislason was quite relieved that this unusual tournament for the German team was finally over. “You saw that some players were at the end who already had seven games in their bones, sometimes with little breaks,” he said on ZDF. “We probably wouldn’t have been able to play another game with this team.” Nevertheless, the Icelander was satisfied with his team’s performance at the European Championship. “In the long run it was a very, very good tournament, for us, for me,” said goalkeeper Johannes Bitter, describing the importance of the success.

National coach Gislason was quite relieved that this unusual tournament for the German team was finally over. “You saw that some players were at the end who already had seven games in their bones, sometimes with little breaks,” he said on ZDF. “We probably wouldn’t have been able to play another game with this team.” Nevertheless, the Icelander was satisfied with his team’s performance at the European Championship. “In the long run it was a very, very good tournament, for us, for me.”

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