Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: Deutschland von Weißrussland gefordert

Steffen Fäth (Man of the Match gegen Saudi-Arabien) - Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: Deutschland von Weißrussland gefordert - Foto: France Handball
Steffen Fäth (Man of the Match gegen Saudi-Arabien) – Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: Deutschland von Weißrussland gefordert – Foto: France Handball

Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: Deutschlands „bad boys“ sind schon für das Achtelfinale qualifiziert. Aber es geht im vierten WM-Match gegen Weißrussland um die „weiße Weste“. Damit Deutschlands Team von Bundestrainer Dagur Sigurdsson im Gruppen-Finale gegen Kroatien eine sehr gute Ausgangsposition im Kampf um den ersten Gruppen-Rang hat.

17.01.2017 – France Handball / SPORT4FINAL / Frank Zepp:

Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: In den „Mittwoch-Spielen“ treten mit Spanien, Dänemark und Schweden weitere WM-Favoriten an.

Group B, Metz, Arènes – 20:45 FYR Macedonia vs Spain

Spain and FYR Macedonia have never met in an IHF Men’s World Championship, but Spain have beaten the Macedonians twice in the EHF EURO; FYR Macedonia need to win to keep the pressure up on Iceland for qualification through to the eighth-finals, while Spain sealed qualification with their win over Angola on Monday. Alex Dujshebaev, the Spanish right-back plays for HC Vardar in Skopje, the capital of FYR Macedonia while Kiril Lazarov, the Macedonian right back, plays for FC Barcelona in Spain.

Jordi Ribera, Spain coach said ahead of the game: “The Macedonians are a strong team and the match will be very difficult, they play a lot with seven in attack which makes it very difficult and they do it with very experienced players who are also very fast. The game will be very difficult for us, but I have confidence in my team.”

Group C, Rouen, Kindarena – 14:00 Saudi Arabia vs Hungary

14 years ago, Hungary and Saudi Arabia duelled for the last time, and the Europeans took a 36:25 win against the Arab side at the World Championship in Portugal. In that year, the Saudis (like again later in 2013) had their best World Championship result with a 19th position finish. Since 2014, Iranian-born Iman Jamali has the Hungarian citizenship. But he never faced the Saudis in any match at Asian Championships.

After beating Chile in a tough fight, Hungary can make a huge step towards the eighth-finals – and at the end of the day under certain circumstances (they win, Belarus and Chile lose) qualify for the knock-out stage. The full focus of the Saudis is on the final preliminary round match against Chile on Friday, in which they can – hypothetically – clinch their first ever WCh knock-out stage berth with the correct goal difference and Chile and Belarus picking up no further points.

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17:45 Belarus vs Germany

The one and only time both teams duelled at World Championships was in the eighth-final in 1995 in Iceland, when Germany won 33:26. In 2008, Germany scored one goal more, when beating the Belarusian side 34:26 in the opener of the European Championship in Norway. The funny fact of this match was the brother duel of the Klimovets’: Vladimir (Belarus) faced Andrej (Germany).

Both coaches had been awarded “Best coach of the year” in Germany: Icelandic-born Dagur Sigurdsson (Germany) in 2016 and Soviet-born Yuri Shevtsov (Belarus) in 1997. In his last job in German Bundesliga, Rhein-Neckar Lowen (until 2008), Chevtsov was the coach of the current German internationals Uwe Gensheimer and Patrick Groetzki. Before, he had been coaching the German clubs of Lemgo and Essen. In the latter, he was coach of current German team manager Oliver Roggisch, when they won the EHF Cup in 2005.

20:45 Croatia vs Chile

Never before have both sides clashed in an official match. Chile made history in their France 2017 opener by beating Belarus; this gave them their first ever win against a European team and their first ever victory win a preliminary round of a World Championship.

Croatia were the first team of Group C to book their eighth-final ticket after their third win in the third match on Monday against Belarus. Both sides will have their crucial encounter on Friday: Croatia will face Germany for the top position of this group, while Chile hope to proceed to their first ever eighth-final in the match against Saudi Arabia (should results fall their way).

“We still have the fate in our hands and the chance to proceed,” said Chilean coach Mateo Garralda. On the Croatian side, it is in question, whether team captain Domagoj Duvnjak will rest (like in the first half against Belarus) or not,” concluded the head coach.

Group D, Paris, AccorHotels Arena – 14:00 Argentina vs Egypt

Even though both teams took part in every edition of IHF Men’s Handball World Championship since 1997, they have never played each other in this tournament. The only head-to-head happened in 1992, at the ’second-tier‘ World Championship, and ended with a draw (19:19). Very close to each other at the time, these two teams still are today, as shown by the two friendly games between the two held in July 2016, just before the Rio Olympic Games. On 27 July 2016, Argentina and Egypt drew again (23:23) and three days later, Los Gladiatores won by a narrow margin (25:23).

Since the beginning of the 2017 World Championship, the Egyptian team is among the most efficient of the tournament in terms of their shot conversion rate. During their first three matches, Egypt converted 81 of their 127 shots into goals, i.e. a 64% shot conversion rate. By contrast, Argentina’s efficiency percentage was below 50% in their first two games (39 goals from 83 shots).

Argentina both struggled in offence and defence during their first two games. During the losses against Denmark (33:22) and Sweden (35:17), Argentina only made up two steals and did not block a single shot. They will definitely have to improve these statistics to be in with a chance of winning against the Egyptians.

17:45 Denmark vs Bahrain

Denmark won all their ties with big margins and the only duel against Bahrain they had was in April 2016 (26:24) during the Olympic qualification tournament. During this game against the 48th world ranked team, Denmark went into the locker room tied at 12:12 before winning in the end. The Danes won gold at the Olympics the following summer.

Bahrain take part in only their second World Championship in France after 2011. Despite qualifying for the 2015 event in Qatar, they were forced to withdraw. Mohamed Abdulla, Bahrain’s goalkeeper knows that the task will be complicated against the Olympic champions. “Denmark are a team with multiple stars, we must do the best we can … The result is not important; what’s important is to play our handball and fight.”

20:45 Sweden vs Qatar

The two teams have never played against each other before. With 11 medals collected (including 4 titles), Sweden are the most highly decorated nation in the competition and will start into the tie as favourite. The Swedish side will qualify for the main round if they take a win over Qatar.

World champion when he was playing with the French team in 2011. Bertrand Roine joined the selection of Qatar in August 2012. The left back won a silver medal at the 2015 World Championship with the Qataris – losing the final against France (25:22).

Jerry Tollbring, left winger of the Swedish team, is currently the top scorer of his team with 18 goals. Kristianstad’s player has achieved the third highest overall success rate in the top 20; led by the German Uwe Gensheimer (89% with 17 goals out of 19 attempts) and Spanish David Balaguer (15 goals out of 19, 79%).

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