Important victory against Iceland in handball madhouse
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Germany is taking an important step towards the semi-finals at the World Cup. In the first round match the team defeats Iceland. Once again, the defensive is the big plus.
WNotable victory for the German national handball team at the World Cup: The team of Christian Prokop wins the first game in the second round 24:19 (14:10) against Iceland and has great prospects of reaching the semi-finals.
In a doggedly led game, the team in the Cologne Arena, driven by a frenetic audience, fights down their opponents. Germany, which has taken three points from the preliminary round, is with 5: 1 points together with France in first place in the intermediate round group.
"If you ignore private moments of happiness, that's just the best time. It is no coincidence that Iceland is one of the twelve best in the world. We played very concentrated over long distances. Everything went according to plan. We pulled it to the end, "said Prokop.
It takes a long time before Germany can settle. Up to the level of 9: 9 changes the lead again and again. Iceland acts hard on the defensive and causes great problems for the German team. Until Uwe Gensheimer converted a seven-meter penalty in the 23rd minute. It is the beginning of a short interim sprint. Germany pushes the result from 9: 9 to 13: 9 with four goals in a row. A phase in which Andreas Wolff also turns up. The goalkeeper parries several balls and gives his front men security. The final point in the first half is set by Hendrik Pekeler - Germany enters the cabin with a 14:10 lead.
"There is not much to criticize. Maybe we have to be a bit warmer. On the defensive we are sensational. You lose to Iceland if you do not fight like Iceland, "said team manager Oliver Roggisch at halftime. Even after the break, the attitude of the Germans is right. Again, the showpiece is the defensive, which goes down hard.
Over 19,000 fans lash the team forward
In the 36th minute Germany leads for the first time with five goals. But the Icelanders fight, hit and shorten to 15:17. Again it is Wolff who shakes his team with a sustained seven-meter throw in this difficult phase. Germany pulls back to four goals and gives the lead no longer ago. The 19,000 fans in the sold-out arena whip the team until the final whistle forward. "That's the madness here. The fans have to carry us forward. If you see this here, I hope I can tell my children about it, "said Paul Drux.
In the last few minutes the Icelanders have to pay tribute to the high speed and intensity of the Germans. They afford themselves on the offensive many ball losses. Germany is consistently coming to an end. Kai Häfner sets with his goal for 24:19 the final point.
"Iceland is a really good team. We did a really good job on the defensive, "said Gensheimer.
After the win against Iceland two title favorites are waiting for the national team: On Monday (20.30 clock, in the world live scores) Germany plays against Croatia, a day later it goes against Spain.