The German handballers also supported their EM ambitions a few days before the start of the tournament thanks to a strong goalkeeper duo.
Andreas Wolff and the first returner Johannes Bitter, who had been back in the national jersey since 2030 days, laid the foundation for the 33:25 (16:13) test victory in Mannheim against Iceland. The best pitchers of the strong team of German coach Christian Prokop in the second round were Captain Uwe Gensheimer and Paul Drux with four hits each.
Before the first EM group game on Thursday (18.15 clock) in Trondheim against the Netherlands, the DHB selection is now only the general test on Monday (14.40 clock) in Vienna against Co-host Austria.
“We did it properly. We take a good feeling and drive happily to Vienna,”said Bitter, adding after his comeback:”It is unpleasant to come in in the second half. I gave everything. It has been a good start.”The game helps to record driving for the EM and gives important insights, said Federal trainer Prokop.” The boys played consistently over long distances.”
At the tournament in Norway, Austria and Sweden the German team scores a medal. What is clear to the trainer after the first test, but it should not surprise him: there is still work to be done until the first round against the Netherlands. Although the Dutch are considerably weaker than the Icelanders, but independently of the opponent, the DHB selection in front of 12.037 spectators in the sold-out SAP Arena made some technical errors in the first round.
Casting and bricklayer are recommended for handball EM-cadres
The defense also did not present itself at world-class level. However, the DHB selection increased significantly in the second round.
Initially, only Keeper Wolff was used to acting strongly in the defensive. Already in the first seven minutes, the 28-year-old defeated five attempts by the guests, Wolff also acted brightly awake afterwards. Yet the Icelanders came to simple gates, because the defensive team around the defensive chiefs Hendrik Pekeler and Patrick Wiencek repeatedly offered unusual gaps in the first 30 minutes.
After the injury-related failures of numerous backroom players Prokop put most of the time on Drux by the foxes Berlin on the gamemaker position. And the 24-year-old ran hot and scored four of the first five German goals. But then Drux also made avoidable mistakes in defense and attack, only when Prokop changed his defense, it got better. And the “Jogi” Bitter used in the second round also delivered in his first country game for more than five and a half years as if he had never missed.
Already in the first five minutes of the second round, the 37-year-old defended two Icelanders’throws with strong reflexes. Moreover, he later paired two seven meters later. Such a strong gateway performance could also be the key to the measured semi-finals at the EM. Also the players Timo Kastening and Patrick Zieker used in the second half recommended themselves for the final EM-cadre.
Prior to the start of the tournament, Prokop must reduce his currently 17-player-wide cadre by one player.
Germany – Iceland 33:25 (16:13). – Gates: Gensheimer (4), Drux (4), Golla (3), Reichmann (3), Weber (3), Hafner (3), Kastening (3), Zieker (2), Pekeler (2), Kohlbacher (2), Michalczik (1), Kuhn (1), Bohm (1), Schmidt (1) for Germany – Smarason (4), Gunnarsson (4/1), Sigurdsson (4/1), Gudmundsson (2), Petersson (2), Arnarsson (2), Gudjonsson (2), Kristjansson (1), Elisson (1), Prastarson (1), Jonsson (1), Kristjanson (1) for Iceland. Spectators in Mannheim: 13.037