Germany enjoy best start since 2017 with third win against Algeria

17 Jan. 2023

Germany enjoy best start since 2017 with third win against Algeria

For the first time since France 2017, Germany started an edition of the IHF Menā€™s World Championship with three wins in a row, clearing another obstacle in Algeria (37:21) to progress to the main round at Poland/Sweden 2023 in high spirits.

Group E

Algeria vs Germany 21:37 (9:16)

It was a match that could only serve as a preparation for the main round for Germany, as AlfreĆ° Gislasonā€™s side had already secured their main round berth, also taking four points into the next phase of the competition, with the wins against Qatar and Serbia sealed in the previous two rounds.

However, Algeria, who were already eliminated and were heading to the Presidentā€™s Cup, were not going to give up easily, playing for pride and trying to up their level against a strong opponent which projects as one of the top eight teams in this tournament, signalling a resurgence for Germany.

Despite resting some key starters, with top scorer Juri Knorr only on penalty duty in the first half, Germany enjoyed a strong start, thanks to a 5:0 unanswered run that prevented Algeria from scoring for 10 minutes and 48 seconds. While goalkeeper Andreas Wolff stole the show, boasting a 50% saving efficiency at times, the shapeshifting defence tested Algeria the most, with the African side finding few solutions apart from strong shots from their backs.

As AlfreĆ° Gislason tried to rest his starters as much as possible, Germany were still cruising at half-time (16:9), with Wolff saving six shots for a 40% saving efficiency, while left back Juri Knorr was the teamā€™s top scorer with four goals, despite playing only three minutes in the first half.

It went from bad to worse for Algeria, despite Germany making even more changes to their squad. Goalkeeper Joel Birlehm took over from Wolff between the posts. He had roughly the same numbers ā€“ seven saves for a 37% saving efficiency ā€“ while the attack displayed an impressive efficiency of 71%, powered by a nine-goal outing from line player Jannik Kohlbacher.

An 8:2 run opened an even bigger gap with 18 minutes to go (25:14), the largest from Germany at Poland/Sweden 2023 so far, and Gislasonā€™s side really made it look easy with excellent attacking form. Eventually, the European powerhouse ended on a high with a 37:21 win.

In fact, Germany finished this preliminary round with 102 goals scored, the second-highest number in their history in the first three matches at the IHF Menā€™s World Championship, with the record being set 20 years ago at Portugal 2003, when they scored 120 times against Qatar, Australia and Greenland.

Germany will stay in Katowice, where they start the main round with four points, as they will face Norway, the Netherlands and Argentina in the main round, being primed to progress to the quarter-finals after a disappointing 12th place finish at Egypt 2021.Ā 

On the other hand, Algeria, who lost the 14th match of their last 15 at the IHF Menā€™s World Championship, head to the Presidentā€™s Cup in Plock, as they will be aiming to earn their first win there after conceding three losses in a row in the preliminary round in Katowice.

hummel Player of the Match: Jannik Kohlbacher (Germany)