They fought, kept the minimum chance. German handball players kept alive the small hope of the semi-finals of the European Championship.
In the first match of the main stage, the team of the national coach Markus Gaugish won 36:28 (17:13) over the 2019 world champion Holland. DHB selection still needs a small miracle to go ahead.
The top German shooter in Skopje was senior Alina Grizels with eight goals. Gaugish’s team showed considerable improvement after a disappointing first round. With a defeat, Germany would definitely miss the last four stage. However, their worst finish at a major tournament since 13th at the European Championships twelve years ago is still to come.
DHB women need two more wins
The 2-4 DHB selection needs finals against Olympic champions France on Tuesday (20:30) and Romania on Wednesday (15:30). Sportdeutschland.tv:) two wins if possible to still have a chance to reach the semi-finals.
The best two teams in the group of six advance to the semi-finals. Third place will advance to a fifth-place playoff, which could be crucial for a possible qualifying tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The handball players won their only European Championship medal in 1994 for the first time, the last time they reached the podium at a major event was when they won the bronze medal at the 2007 World Cup.
Lots of Dutch turnovers
“We are not satisfied with the performance of the preliminary round,” DHB sporting director Axel Kromer said before the match. After defeats against Spain and Montenegro, the Germans won the main stage with 0:4 points. “It’s a disappointment for us,” Cromer said.
After initial difficulties, Emily Bolk’s team got better and better in a chaotic game characterized by numerous penalties. Buoyed by four goals, the DHB side took the lead for the first time (14th) and extended it at half-time. The Dutch women continued to jump off the German cover.
In the second half as well, the German team did not show nerves at first. Grizzles were building their attacks intelligently, their defense was solid. Germany often benefited from opponents simply losing possession and pulling back in the closing stages.
All other important news from the sports world can be found in News Update.