06 Aug. 2019
The sixth-placed M18 EHF EURO side Germany lost to the team which finished in 12th spot last year in the continental championship in their opening game of Group D at the 2019 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship in Skopje.
Portugal are only appearing in North Macedonia after agreeing to be the substitute nation for the Oceania continent and, despite being behind for the first quarter, they ended up dominating the match with their sharpshooting attack and flowing play.
Germany vs Portugal 26:33 (15:18)
Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje
With 18 goals conceded at half-time and managing just 14 shots against their opposition goalkeepers, Germany were in trouble already at the pause, highlight by just two saves from their own goalkeepers, with Johannes Jepsen saving just 1 of 18 attempts faced and Lukas Diedrich, who came in late on in the half, saving one of two.
Jepsen was left on the bench for the second half by coach Erik Wudtke as he looked for his team to rediscover their early form in the game which had seen them take a four-goal (6:2) lead by the eighth minute.
But with a Martim Costa strike for Portugal, it was 9:9 in the 15th minute and from that point on his side never looked back, taking a two, then five goal lead in the 18th minute (11:9) and 28th minute (18:13) after two scoring runs.
Even though Germany came back to draw even a number of times in the opening half, most notably when Alexander Reimann stole the ball and threw into an unguarded Portugal net to spark the German bench into life, leaving Portugal dejected, Carlos Martingo’s side stepped up again and again.
And when captain Felipe Morais stole a German ball to score from a full-court goal it was 16:13 with four minutes left of the first half. A second two-minute suspension for Yessine Meddeb at the end of the half added to Germany’s woes as he joined Julius Meyer-Siebert on the edge of a disqualification for the rest of the match.
Even though Portugal only made one save themselves in the first period, their outstanding shooting, with five for Salvador Salvador from six attempts and seven from Martin Costa, who ended on 10 goals in the game, showed the effectiveness of the Portuguese attack in a blistering second part of the first half, which then continued into the second half as they kept around a +3 lead, moving up to seven with a 4:1 run in the final seven minutes.
Photo: WCH 2019 / Filip Viranovski