Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: Europameister Deutschland kann im dritten Match in der Gruppe C der Handball-Weltmeisterschaft gegen Außenseiter Saudi-Arabien mit einem Sieg das Ticket für das Achtelfinale der Titelkämpfe buchen.
16.01.2017 – France Handball / SPORT4FINAL / Frank Zepp:
Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: Sieben Spiele stehen auf dem Turnierplan.
Group A, Nantes, Hall XXL – 14:00 Norway vs Brazil
The two teams have met three times in World Championship history, between 2005 and 2011. The first time, Norway won by 22 goals while the last time they only won by one goal. Brazil have definitely made huge progress! „Brazil are probably the team which has made the most progress over the course of the last ten years,“ praised Christian Berge. „They have a long-term vision, bringing 17-year-old players to play with them at this World Championships and this is definitely a good thing. I think we have got quite a lot in common.“
Cesar Almeida, the second Brazilian goalkeeper, is full of surprises. First, his nickname has been Bombom for years, and he’s the most ‚Norwegian‘ of the Brazilians, since his girlfriend is from there – reason why he moved to Arendal in Norway last summer.
17:45 Poland vs Japan
It’s been 27 years since Poland last played against Japan. The last time the both teams met, Poland won, just like they did the two times before. „My boys are not going to let this game slip away. We showed against Brazil that we wanted to make Japan proud, and to carry on learning. Every game is a good occasion to learn something, especially for us because we don’t come very often to big tournaments like this one,“ commented Antonio Carlos Ortega, head coach of Japan after their defeat against Brazil.
„Japan have shown good things in this tournament, even if they didn’t get a result so far,“ said Mateusz Jachlewski, left wing for Poland. „We don’t have any experience to rest on, so we’d better be focused and pay attention,“ concluded Jachlewski.
20:45 Russia vs France
Russia are the only team to have ever beaten France in a major tournament’s final until last summer. It was in 1993 at the World Championship. France won all the other finals it took part in until the Olympic one in 2016. Back in the 1990, France were the sporting home for a lot of Russia handball players in the mid 90s. Ivry, especially, saw a lot of Russian legends come into their team, such as Andrey Lavrov or Vassili Koudinov. No surprise then, to learn that Russian line player Mikhail Chipurin now plays in Ivry as well.
This tie will be an occasion for Guillaume Gille and Dmitri Torgovanov to meet again. The two players wore the same HSV Hamburg jersey from 2007 to 2009 and are now national team coaches of their respective countries.
Group B, Metz, Arènes – 17:45 Slovenia vs Tunisia
Re-match of the 2005 IHF Men’s World Championship, Main Round Group 1 game which ended in a 26:26 draw. The tournament was held in Tunisia, who eventually finished a heart-breaking fourth. Slovenia will confirm qualification to the main round with a win.
Tunisia left wing Oussama Boughanmi said ahead of the match: “We believe in our potential and ourselves – to come from behind against Iceland and not lose the game shows our character as a national team. How we end our games will be better and we will show better handball, like we did against Spain, in our next game, against Slovenia.”
20:45 Angola vs Iceland
Angola coach Diogo Alexandre Machado said ahead of this game: “The Angolan men’s team don’t have many games in international competition so it all depends on which competitions we are in. For our women’s team they are at the highest level playing in all the competitions, so they are in a better physical and technical condition. We have to do the same [for the men’s team] so if we play in more competitions we will increase, naturally, their level of handball.”
The third Group B game in a row that Angola will play at 20:45, the last game of the day. Iceland right back Runar Karason said: “We are really disappointed because we needed two points against Tunisia but we have to accept the result and keep on fighting in our next match [against Angola].”
Group C, Rouen, Kindarena – 17:45 Germany vs Saudi Arabia
Two years ago, both sides locked horns, with Germany leaving the Arab side behind with a 36:19 win, the clearest German victory at the 2015 World Championship in Qatar. In France, the EURO champions have a clean record after beating Hungary and Chile – but will not underestimate their opponents: “We will prepare in the same way, as we prepared for Hungary or will for the Croatia match,” said left back Julius Kuhn. In case of a win, Germany will be already qualified for the eighth-finals.
Croatian-born Saudi coach Nenad Kljaic used to play for German club Großwallstadt from 1994 until 2000. Saudi Arabia have never won a match in a preliminary round of a World Championship so far.
Group D, Paris, AccorHotels Arena – 17:45 Qatar vs Argentina
Since April 2016, the two selections played against each other three times and Qatar won every time. The last tie was during preparation for this World Championship, on 6 January (30:25). In Rio, for the Olympics, the score was 22:18. Between the matches against Egypt and Bahrain, Qatar’s coach Valero Rivera decided to make the first of his two allowed replacements. Ahmad Madadi replaced Abdelrahman Abdalla after Qatar had a poor showing from wing positions. With Madadi playing 40 minutes in the left wing and scoring eight times against Bahrain (8/9 including 2/2 penalties) — a decisive swap!
Just after Qatar’s win against Bahrain (32:22) on Sunday, former French international Bertrand Roine was already thinking about the duel with Argentina: “Like them, we need points to go as far as possible. Against their aggressive 5-1 defence, we will have to give the ball a lot to the wings.”