A trembling victory over Hungary: Women's handball in the World Cup quarter-finals

Trembling victory over Hungary
Women’s handball in the World Cup quarter-finals

German handball players are undefeated in the World Cup. It’s really close to Hungary, they’re even ahead in a very short time. But the DHB team keeps the pace high – with a happy ending. So the chances of reaching the quarter-finals are great.

Handball players in Germany put a quick victory dance on the floor after a thrilling story with a happy ending. Thanks to 25:24 (14:9) in the dramatic group final against Hungary, the DHB World Championship pick takes 4:0 points in the main round after a flawless preliminary round and is thus on its way to the quarter-finals. “It was an emotional rollercoaster,” said national team coach Henk Groener. “We didn’t have to make it too exciting, but we’re happy. The team struggled until they fell and deserved to win.”

In the main round, the German national team will meet the Republic of Congo on Wednesday. Other competitors in the second stage of the championship are Denmark and South Korea. The best shooters in a duel with Hungary in front of 850 spectators in Leiria are Julia Maidhoff and Mike Schmelzer, each of whom scored five goals. “I am very happy and proud of the team,” said Schmelzer. “Everyone fought for everyone.”

The game started wildly. Both teams made a number of mistakes. The first goal of the match was scored just three minutes later – Maidhof scored for the DHB Women, who had previously celebrated clear victories against the Czech Republic (31:21) and Slovakia (36:22). The Hungarians even needed nearly seven minutes to score their first goal. The German team found its rhythm first and was three goals ahead at 6:3. But this did not initially lead to security in the proceedings. Instead, Hungary improved after an early respite. The German women were often embarrassed and fell back for the first time in the middle of the first half (7:8/17.).

The Hungarian goalkeeper shines in front of the German attack

The NBD team was troubled by this as was the many missed opportunities. Time and time again, Gruner’s supporters have failed due to strong Hungary goalkeeper Blanca Biro – sometimes completely on their own. Fortunately, the competitor also made a number of mistakes. So it happened that with the result of 11:9 for the DHB selection, no hits were scored on either side for five minutes. Only at the last stage of the first half did the German players find their shooting skills again and took the lead by five goals in the first half. But it quickly faded after the change. Hungary needed just nine minutes to equalize at 16:16. The game is fully unlocked again. It was now an open exchange of blows, with both teams continuing to move forward at a very high pace. On the German side, Emily Polk, who plays with Hungarian champions Ferencvaros Budapest, took on more and more responsibility and created a goal hazard from the backcourt.

In the last stage too, it remained dramatic because no team was able to break away decisively. Hungary cut back to 24:25 in the last minute, but with luck the DHB team narrowly saved the lead at the end. “We did very well in the first half, as well as in defense. We were very active in the second half,” Gruner said.

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