DThanks to their outstanding goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, the German handball pros laid the foundation for the targeted World Cup ticket. In the first of two playoff games against the Faroe Islands, who are at most third-class internationally, the DHB selection prevailed on Wednesday evening with 34:26 (17:11). When national coach Alfred Gislason returned to Kiel, right winger Lukas Zerbe from TBV Lemgo was the best thrower with six goals. The most convincing performance, however, showed Wolff, who compensated for numerous mistakes made by those in front with strong saves. The second leg takes place in Torshavn on Saturday (20.00).
The DHB selection did not offer the 5121 spectators in the far north a sovereign appearance. Gislason had led THW Kiel to a number of successes here for eleven years, but he still seems a long way from big titles with the DHB selection. Again and again, the favorite made technical mistakes on the offensive. During a break, the Icelander complained early on that “we’re making some mistakes”. But it didn’t get much better afterwards.
The own ball losses invited the outsider again and again to quick counterattacks. The fact that the Faroe Islands didn’t tighten the game in the first half was mainly due to Wolff. Unlike some of his teammates, the former THW Kiel keeper was wide awake from the start and made a few saves. In the second round, too, the spectators cheered the professional from the Polish club Vive Kielce with some ovations.
The 31-year-old didn’t initially get support from the defense in front of him. And it was precisely for these two reasons that Gislason’s team struggled: too high a mistake rate and too large gaps in the defensive. The fact that the lead at half-time was still relatively comfortable was mainly due to the fact that the strength of the guests decreased more and more as the game went on.
“A six-goal lead at half-time is certainly something we would have signed before,” said DHB sports director Axel Kromer at half-time at Sport1. But: “Our defense was not good, so we can be grateful that Andreas Wolff held so well.”
The German team did not find a confident game rhythm even after the break. Some wobbly candidates could not be recommended for the World Cup in Poland and Sweden in January, and the center of defense around captain Johannes Golla and Simon Ernst presented itself in Kiel as anything but ready for a tournament. After all, the hoped-for World Cup ticket is very close before the second leg. For larger goals, however, the DHB selection must increase.