Poles with minimal advantage to Germany | Handball Planet

Poles with minimal advantage to Germany

After the first leg, it is Polish national team that is closer to the World Championships in Qatar. Poles beat Germany 25:24 and now look forward to the second leg.

As it was predicted before, Krzysztof Lijewski and Bartłomiej Jaszka were not ready to play. The right back player was substituted by another right back, Michał Szyba, and the role of the second playmaker fell to Rafał Gliński.

The result of the match was opened by Patrick Groetzki. Due to the Poles’ unsuccessful attack and mistake in defence, Germans had a chance to lead 2:0 but Polish goalkeeper Szmal saved a penalty throw by Uwe Gensheimer. It was a portent of what Szmal was going to do between the Poland’s goalposts, and also Gensheimer’s worse performance.

In the 4. minute Polish fans could have thought that their worst nightmare came true as extremely important Mariusz Jurkiewicz left the court after being fouled by Holger Glandorf. Jurkiewicz was replaced by Gliński and Poles tried to move on.

They kept pace with their rivals until 4:4 result when the German team started taking the upper hand. German defence stayed so strong that it made Polish attack look like a complete chaos but it would not be true to claim that it was the only factor that prevented the hosts from scoring. When finally given a chance to score, they became masters in hitting with ball in everything – from Silvio Heinevetter to goalposts and boards – except the interior of the goal. Even the return of Jurkiewicz, 2 time-outs for coach Biegler and change in defence did not changed the situation; helpless Bielecki, hopeless Chrapkowski, strong and very good German defence – especially by Patrick Wiencek and Hendrik Pekeler, and lack of ideas in Polish attack made the result 10:5 for Germany. Only the brilliant performances by Szmal and Bartosz Jurecki prevented the gap from getting even bigger. Jurecki got the role of a penalty scorer. Polish team have had pretty big problems in this element but today Jurecki was perfect. Poles came from behind a bit and in the last seconds of the first half they had a chance to score for 10:12 but young right winger Michał Daszek hesitated and wasted it.

Poles started the second half in a powerplay and in a blink of an eye they scored 2 goals, for 11:12. Heinevetter saved Syprzak’s throw for 13:13 and advantage of Germany started increasing again but it reached 12:15 and this was the moment when German problems begin. Poles suddenly stormed ahead and despite playing without one player, they managed to equalize and then to take their first lead (41. minute). Germans were rejected by Szmal and got confused in attack – Poles managed to steal the ball twice in a row, score and make the result 18:15, which means Germans lost 6 goals in a row.

As the game was rather deprived of bad emotions, there was a moment when the temperature on the court got a bit higher when fouled Jurkiewicz threw the ball in Heinevetter’s face and the goalie’s teammates attacked the Pole but the situation were quickly solved.

Due to Germany playing strong defence, the crowd of 10 000 Polish fans held their breaths time after time. In the first half they saw Jurkiewicz and Syprzak leaving the court; in the second half it was Jurecki brothers and Gliński who became “victims” of Wiencek and Pekeler. In the end of the game it turned back and Michał Jurecki knocked down Groetzki with his elbow but fortunately, he was taken care of and the teams carried on.

Szmal kept showing his amazing abilities by saving one-to-one situations with Gensheimer and Wiencek. However, his teammates started having problems again and in 58. minute Germans equalized at 24:24. Guests had a chance to regain the lead but crafty behaviour of Jurkiewicz made Weinhold make an attacker foul; Poles could score for 25:24 and so they did. With 5 seconds to go, German coach called for a timeout. He entered a libero and the guests tried to reach for a draw. They managed to take a shot in the last moment but Szmal saved it and thus saved the victory.

Poles will arrive in Magdeburg with a modest, 1-goal advantage so nothing is really settled yet and we will know the Championship’s participant not until next Saturday.



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