Seventh win in a row sends Germany to the final at Germany/Greece 2023

01 Jul. 2023

Seventh win in a row sends Germany to the final at Germany/Greece 2023

For the first time since 2011, Germany secured a place in the final of the IHF Men’s Junior World Championship, as their seventh win in a row at Germany/Greece 2023, 40:30 in the semi-final against Serbia, saw them set up a crunch final against Hungary.

The last act of the 2023 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship will take place on Sunday, 2 July, at 18:00 CEST in the Max-Schmeling-Halle, between two sides which have won seven medals in the competition between them, with Serbia heading to the bronze medal game, where they face Iceland.

Semi-final 2

  • Germany vs Serbia 40:30 (17:15)

Co-hosting the 2023 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship ensured that the pressure would be on Germany’s shoulders. Still, until this point in the competition, Martin Heuberger’s side did everything which was asked, delivering seven wins in seven matches.

Surely, there have been twists and turns, yet Germany always managed their games well, like they did in the semi-final against Serbia, where they were supported by 5,302 fans in the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, a support which played a big part in their success.

The first breaking point of the game was a five-minute stint without a goal for Serbia, which saw Germany use a 4:0 run to take a 9:5 lead, with some excellent work done by the two left handers in Germany’s back line, Nils Lichtlein and Renars Uscins.

While Lichtlein was excellent in both scoring and delivering assists, Uscins was nothing short of superb, being virtually unstoppable, as he scored goal after goal, with Serbia failing to get the right balance between an over-aggressive defence and finding the right momentum to stop Germany’s attack.

The hosts were definitely boosted by goalkeeper Lasse Ludwig, who saved seven shots for a 58.3% saving efficiency in the first 15 minutes, enabling Germany to keep Serbia at bay until the break, when the co-hosts had a two-goal lead, 17:15, and looked prime to secure their first final berth at the IHF Men’s Junior World Championship since Greece 2011.

The big question was how Germany will cope in the second half, as they usually dropped their level and enabled their opponents to mount comebacks in the last seconds, squandering important leads over the tough matches in the main round against Croatia and France.

The answer came in the first 10 minutes of the second half, when Germany scored 10 goals, as Serbia’s defence, which was missing a key cog due to a red card conceded by crucial defender Luka Rogan, failed to stop the co-hosts, which had an excellent start.

From a two-goal lead, Germany created a seven-goal gap quite fast, 26:19, after 40 minutes, and from that moment, it was no way back for Serbia, albeit not for the lack of trying, with left back Milos Kos starring with eight goals scored.

However, Serbia, which are missing the MVP of the M20 EHF EURO 2022, Stefan Dodic, in this competition, could not derail Germany’s bid for a final berth, with the co-hosts delivering their best game so far in the competition to seal a clear 40:30 win, their seventh in a row at this edition of the world handball flagship competition.

Germany will face Hungary in the big final on Sunday, having a chance to secure their third title at the IHF Men’s Junior World Championship. At the same time, Serbia can win a medal for the first time after they have secured the silver at Hungary 2005 when they featured as Serbia and Montenegro.

hummel Player of the Match: Renars Uscins (Germany)