Kolding (dpa) – After the dream start in the main round of the European Championship, the German handball women, who seemed to have been liberated, immediately focused on the showdown with world champion the Netherlands.
In the second group match next Monday (6.15 p.m.), the DHB squad wants to refine the convincing 32:25 victory over Hungary and just 24 hours later keep the chance to participate in the semi-finals for the final of the main round against Croatia. “We all stood up cheerfully. It was a great relief and confirmation for the players. We have to hold on to that,” said national coach Henk Groener and announced: “We want to play with guts, confidence and speed. If we can do it, then our strategy. Implementing it, we qualify for victory. “
With 4: 2 points, the DHB selection in Group II is currently in third place behind the record European champions Norway (8: 0) and Croatia (6: 2) who have already qualified for the semi-finals. The previous surprise team of the tournament will be the last major opponent of the German team on Tuesday. “These will be two great games. We are warm for the semi-final and finally want to withstand the pressure,” announced left winger Antje Lauenroth.
At the 2019 World Cup in Japan, the German team managed to surprise the eventual gold winner in the 25:23 success in the main round. Recently, they crossed paths with the Dutch women, who have been among the world’s best for five years, in two friendly matches in early October, in which there was one victory and one defeat. “It showed that we can keep up,” said Groener.
The 60-year-old Dutchman is looking forward to the game with the selection of his home country after the strong performance of the DHB women against Hungary. “We have made a huge step forward. It was extremely important that we finally found our game,” said the national coach. In addition, the Orange selection – like almost all countries in this Corona final round – is still looking for a stable form.
They hope to have finally found the German women. Against Hungary, they offered their best performance so far in the final on Saturday-evening. “In the preliminary round we were too busy with ourselves, not every wheel hit the other. That is why it was good for us that we could build up our own strength for a few days during training”, said Groener and was satisfied. firmly: “We played handball, which we are good at. It was a lot of fun.”
Goalkeeper Dinah Eckerle shone between the posts with countless saves, the defense was stable with a few exceptions, and the opportunities were better used in the attack – even though things didn’t go as planned. “I’m glad we found our way back to our game,” said defender Emily Bölk.
The 22-year-old, who plays for Ferencvaros Budapest in Hungary, was the best DHB pitcher with five goals. “Of course, taking advantage of opportunities could have been a little better. But even in the tense phase, we held our ground mentally, stayed calm, played calm and found solutions”, summed up Bölk. And circle runner Julia Behnke emphasized: “That was a breakthrough. Hopefully we have now reached the tournament.”