After the first defeat at the European Championships, Germany's handball players encouraged themselves on the floor for the rest of the tournament. In the cauldron of Podgorica, the DHB selection showed nerves at 25:29 (12:15) against co-hosts Montenegro, but can still reach the main round on their own.
"We would have liked to have taken the flow with us with a win, but that can't be changed. We have to get two points against Spain," demanded backcourt ace Emily Bölk shortly after the final whistle. The World Cup fourth is the last preliminary round opponent of the German team, which now has 2:2 points in Group D. "It's a shame that it wasn't enough. We fought bravely and got everything out of it. But Montenegro was very ripped off and found the more routine solutions," summarized national coach Markus Gaugisch.
In front of 4500 spectators, Emily Bölk and Alina Grijseels were the best German throwers with seven goals each. At the end of the preliminary round in Group D, the team of national coach Markus Gaugisch will meet Spain, fourth in the World Cup, on Wednesday.
DHB women found it difficult against robust hostesses
Gaugisch reacted to the 3:6 (11th minute) with a first time-out, during which he calmly pointed out the shortcomings. But the German game remained flawed. Especially on the offensive, the DHB selection sinned with too many bad passes and misses. That played into the hands of the Montenegrins, who also missed numerous chances.
After a good 20 minutes, the German team was 8:12 behind by four goals for the first time. In contrast to the narrow 25:23 win against Poland at the start, when Gaugisch's charges were also four goals behind in the first half, the deficit could hardly be reduced this time before the break. After all, Silje Brons Petersen hit the last throw.
After the change, Germany started energetically and equalized 16:16 within seven minutes. At that point, Xenia Smits was no longer there: The backcourt player from the German champions SG BBM Bietigheim saw the red card shortly before because of her third time penalty.
This weakened the German team, especially on the defensive. Although the DHB women fought selflessly, they continued to struggle against the robust hosts in attack. In the middle of the second half they were again chasing a three-goal deficit. "We couldn't continue and gave up the game," said Bölk.
In the hot final phase, Bölk in particular repeatedly took responsibility from the back and let the DHB team hope for a turnaround with their goals. But the gaps in defense could not be closed, allowing Montenegro to keep hitting back. In the end, the German team ran out of strength.