The main thing won, the main thing was to keep going, everything else didn't matter to German handball players on Monday evening. In their last round match at the European Championship, they got away with the horror once again. In front of 3540 spectators in the Spondum of Trondheim, the selection of the German handball federation won 28:27 (16:11) against Latvia, the second newcomer to the European Championship, with whom she got to deal. The first one, the Netherlands, was beaten 34:23 last Thursday.
Thus, the German team ends the first stage of the tournament leading through Norway, Austria and Sweden with 4: 2 points. For the next section, the main round in Vienna, she only takes the result against defending champion Spain, 0: 2 points and 26:33 goals.
"I lost a big stone from my heart because it was really tight again," admitted national coach Christian Prokop after the tremor victory over the Latvians; Prokop spoke of a "psychologically difficult game". At least it was more difficult than it should have been. After a comfortable lead (24: 17/43. Minute) his team was in the last quarter of an hour to gamble away everything – victory, progress, possibly even Prokop's job.
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"We have to improve in many areas," summed up right winger Tobias Reichmann, who had contributed three seven-meter goals: "Every game is now a final." The first will be against Belarus on Thursday, the second against Croatia on Saturday, the other two main round opponents will only be determined on Tuesday. Captain Uwe Gensheimer admitted "that things are not going as we had imagined. Perhaps it will do us good if we do not look as far ahead". The goal set before the European Championship, the semifinals, is increasingly falling out of sight.
Before the game in Trondheim, Prokop had warned his team especially about the Latvian left-hander Dainis Kristopans: "He is an exceptional player, if only by his appearance." At 2.14 meters, the 29-year-old would have grown up even for a basketball player, and even more so for a handball player. He even towers over the German indoor block with the two-meter men Hendrik Pekeler and Patrick Wiencek. "We have a plan for how to take him out of the game," said Prokop.
Basically, German handball players shouldn't have had so many thoughts. Although Kristopans is under contract with the top European club Vardar Skopje, his side team play at best for second and third division clubs in Germany or France. Even the Netherlands had not had much trouble with the Latvians in the duel of the European Championship debutants and won 32:24.
. (tagsToTranslate) Handball European Championship (t) Handball (t) Sport (t) Süddeutsche Zeitung