Germany is in the main round of the European Championship, but has suffered a defeat. That increases the pressure.
It was the 59th minute of the game when Juri Knorr made one last attempt. The national player once again shot flatly from the backcourt at 29:32 and even fell down in the process. But France goalkeeper Rémi Desbonnet quickly extended his left foot and parried away the attempt. Knorr remained sitting on the ground. He knew that was it. The game was over.
Germany’s national handball team had to admit defeat to the title favorites from France with a score of 30:33 on Tuesday evening. The DHB selection was able to keep up for a long time, but in the final phase the Olympic champion pulled away. The young German squad was no match for the high quality of the French squad. While France was able to rotate a lot without losing quality, national coach Alfred Gíslason chose his changes very carefully and only made occasional substitutions.
Left winger Lukas Mertens saw the individual and fitness advantages of the opponent: “If you can give a Dika Mem, a Nikola Karabatić and a Nedim Remili a ten-minute break and then they come back with full power in crunch time, then that shows that they are too belong to the top nations.”
“We have it in our own hands”
However, the defeat did not jeopardize the ticket for the main round. Germany had already secured this after the second matchday. But the result on Tuesday evening makes the dream of the semi-finals more difficult for the DHB team. “A European Championship is different from a World Cup. You can perhaps cope with one defeat and go far, but the second one would in almost all cases mean the end of the semi-finals,” Alfred Gíslason had already said before the France game. Germany now has this one defeat to its name.