Handball World Cup: Germany’s “orange alert” against the Netherlands

Status: 01/20/2023 11:07

German handball players really picked up speed at the World Cup. It fits well. Because against the Netherlands it will not only be an important game in the main round, but also extremely fast.

When Germans cross the border into the Netherlands, they first have to get used to the speed limit on the autobahn. The German handball players should be spared in the second main round match of the World Cup on Saturday evening (01/21/2023, live in the full audio report). Because the Dutch not only entered the tournament excellently, but also as fast as an arrow. Speed ​​limit: none.

A victory for Germany means quarter-finals

After Germany’s exhilarating victory over the Argentines, with which the DHB team celebrated their fourth victory in the fourth match, the players on the microphone at Sportschau were naturally euphoric, but then wanted to focus quickly on the tasks ahead . “We know we are still a long way from where we are going and now the focus is on the next games,” says, for example, Captain Johannes Golla.

  • Main round, 2nd day
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Everyone in the German camp is aware of the importance of the game. Without big calculations: With a victory, the quarter-finals are trashed and in the last game against Norway it would be to win the group, but that is not insignificant. It is a starting position that the DHB team has won and developed with their great performances, but it must also be used.

Because if you lose, you have to score points against Norway if you want to avoid elimination. Even with two defeats, there would still be a constellation in which the Germans would win in a three-way comparison with Serbia and the Netherlands, but that’s highly unlikely.

Poland and Sweden jointly organize the 2023 Handball World Cup, Germany also plays the main round in Katowice. The most important information about the tournament.

Steins, Smits, Baijens – fast and very, very dangerous

When we ask the German players about the next opponent, one name comes up very often: Luc Steins. If you look at the stat sheet of the first game of the main round of the Netherlands, the 32:30 (15:19) against Qatar, it surprises at first sight. “Only” two goals for the Dutch playmaker.

However, this belies his importance to the team’s attacking play. Steins is one of the best preparers for the tournament and, with his speed, overview and, above all, his international experience, is at the top level as a Parisian player. Saint Germain the kingpin of the Dutch attack. By the way, he is still a goal threat – at 1.73 meters tall he is very difficult to defend fairly.

It speaks to the rest of the team that Steins doesn’t need to score so many goals. In Hamburg’s Dani Baijens and especially in Magdeburg’s Kay Smits, Steins has excellent long-distance players he can stage. By the way, both are not physically “giants”, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. After winning the ball themselves, the team also changes extremely quickly, players away from the ball already start their forward sprint when the opposing team finishes, like the German team.

Don’t overestimate the Netherlands game against Qatar

After victories over Argentina and North Macedonia, “Oranje” lost in the preliminary round after a clear lead at the end, extremely unlucky with a one-goal difference against heavy favorites Norway. The team, which was coached by former Kiel world-class player Staffan Olsson for around six months, showed some inspiring speed handball.

This was also the case against Qatar, but because their own defense didn’t find their way into the game at all, the goalkeepers couldn’t get their hands on the ball and a number of Free throw opportunities were missed up front, they were long behind and only secured the narrow victory in the dying minutes.

A lot happened that day for the Netherlands in the negative sense – and they still won in the end. That’s why it wouldn’t be wise to underestimate the Netherlands due to the close game against Qatar – especially since the Germans also had problems against Qatar in between. Patrick Groetzki also saw it this way: “It’s going to be a tough game for us. Even a close game against Qatar doesn’t change my mind.”

Germany was able to go last – the Netherlands rather not

Defensively, however, the Dutch proved to be quite vulnerable against the emirate through the circle, revealing coordination difficulties there. This is where the German selection should be able to start with playmaker Juri Knorr and the two solid pivots Johannes Golla and Jannik Kohlbacher. In terms of depth, the squad, apart from the away positions, is not at the level of the best international players, the best players have to qualify in close matches.

After four games in eight days, it should be a big advantage for the German team to have been able to change a lot in the last two very clear games. The last two games have been the toughest for the Netherlands so far.

German handball players won the final game of the World Cup preliminary round against Algeria easily and freely. Coach Gislason was able to rest some of his regular players.

However, if the “Oranje” can still mobilize some reserves of strength and show a performance like against Norway, this key match may be quite difficult for the DHB. However, the German team don’t have to hide from an opponent under the current conditions. And when it comes to high speeds, in Germany you are traditionally already unlimited on the road – no matter what you think.

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