Handball World Cup 2023: Germany in the quarter-finals against France before the final exam

Status: 01/24/2023 12:27 p.m.

The German handball players showed the hoped-for positive development at the World Cup and did their duty. A quarter-final victory on Wednesday (25/01/2023, live in the audio stream and in the live ticker) against France would mean the next big step.

If you were to give a school grade to Team DHB’s performance in the narrow loss to Norway, you’d probably be in the 2- range.

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Many things were good or very good, such as the goalkeeper performance of Andreas Wolff, the offensive performance in the first half with an outstanding Juri Knorr and the defense in the second half with Luca Witzke and Djibril M’bengue on the half positions received two real reinforcements from the “second row”.

But some things weren’t good either, at best sufficient, sometimes even deficient. Above all, the rate of realization of free-throw chances and the coordination in defense, which allowed almost as many goals in the first 30 minutes (18) as in the whole game against Argentina (19).

At eye level against Norway

No need to be an expert in handball or geography to conclude: “Norway is not Argentina”. But something else is important: the DHB team has proven that it has further developed compared to previous tournaments.

Against opponents like Serbia or the Netherlands, who offer great ‘stumble potential’, Alfred Gislason’s side played most of the time with confidence, even though the game against Serbia was extremely close. Reaching the quarter-finals and therefore among the eight best teams in the world is the reward. Given the draw, this quarter-final should also be the team’s objective.

Here you can see the analysis and reactions after the Handball World Championship main round game between Germany and Norway.

Against first-tier opponents Norway, it was a game at ground level despite a “minus two performance”. After the match, many players were unhappy with their own performance, even though they had several winning chances against a title contender.

Student A Juri Knorr

It shows the changing sense of rights within the team – so far you have been “student A” in the tournament. One year from the European Championships at home, another point is actually even more important than the pure results on the scoreboard. Anyone who has followed past tournaments could see at this World Cup: This team is capable of delivering exciting handball – and above all, it still has room for improvement.

Anyone who saw Knorr dissect the Norwegian defense in the first half must have dug deep into their memory: there hasn’t been a single player with those skills in the backcourt for many years. The “Spanish school” of FC Barcelona, ​​for which Knorr once played, that is to say the almost perfect feeling of the decision between the pass to the pivot or its own conclusion, sometimes from a standing start, is an element that enriches the German game.

Juri Knorr is one of the outstanding personalities of the German team at the previous handball world championship. Talent was innate in him.

Dominik Klein: Admit mistakes

Sportscast pundit Dominik Klein found it completely understandable that Knorr overdid it a bit in the second half, got involved in small skirmishes and struggled with referee decisions: “You can also concede to him that these are also learning steps for the next tasks. Now, in the knockout stage, such a reaction may not happen to him.” This concession of errors can be transferred to the entire relatively inexperienced international team, Knorr’s performance is just one example.

France as “final exam” for promotion to world class

We can at least wonder if the team’s learning curve can rise so quickly that it is enough against the French after the first loss of this tournament. France have not wavered at all at the World Cup, beating three very nasty opponents in Spain, Slovenia and hosts Poland, and are, even more so than Norway, a contender for the final.

The team has already shown individual elements with which the very gifted French can also be beaten. However, the attacking performance of the first half against Norway and the defensive and goalkeeping performance of the second half must be consistently recalled throughout the 60 minutes.

In any case, the DHB team has already done its homework excellently and will certainly be promoted to the next class. Namely those just below world class. Sometimes particularly talented students skip a class – but for that to happen a “great” would have to be beaten again in a big tournament.

ARD and ZDF alternately broadcast the matches of the German handball players live on television or on the Internet live. Broadcast times at a glance.

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