A perfect day, who does not want that? Lou Reed once sang it, Fabian Wiede saw it on Saturday. After the 34:21 (15: 8) -Gala against Brazil in the second World Cup match, the national player noted with all available sobriety: "This was a perfect day today."
And not only that. For Wiedes coach Christian Prokop it was even "my best game so far as a national coach". Prokops time as a national coach was not so rich on beautiful days until then, the messed up European Championship last year was charged to a good extent to him, he blamed for the fact that there was disapproval in the team.
The German national handball team has also won their second game at the World Cup. Against Brazil there was a sovereign 34:21 (15: 8) victory. ♂️ pic.twitter.com/fbvC1ydPp4- ZDF Sport (@ ZDFsport) January 12, 2019
Although not all of this has dropped off on this Berlin Saturday night, this match over the Brazilians, after all, the strongest force in South America, has given him the feeling that it is not entirely wrong what he and his coaching team have done in the past Weeks and months of preparation.
Called a defensive fetishist
The various parts of the team harmonized in those 60 minutes as rarely in Prokop's term. The coach is known for his meticulousness with which he bargains in the defensive work, in the press conference after the game he was even referred to by a journalist as a "defensive fetishist". Prokop then raised an eyebrow, but he did not argue. And praised it all the more clearly "the flair of the audience, which has acknowledged defensive actions with applause".
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In fact, just had his two middle blocker in the defense Hendrik Pekeler and Patrick Wiencek again made impressive. The South Americans, who had delivered a formidable match against World Champion France the night before, looked for the ball in the offensive again and again fitting back and forth, the gap in the defense. Alone: There was none.
But it was not just the defense, it was not just the usual reliable goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, just to overcome at the beginning of the game, which were responsible for this strong performance. Uwe Gensheimer hit the left winger as he liked, and his safety at the seven-meter mark remains incredible, but it was also others who took on and took over the task as lead players. It smelled of team spirit in the Berlin Arena. It's the smell that led the team to the European title in 2016.
Fäth hit four times in a row
Steffen Fäth in the backcourt belonged to those who took on the duty against Brazil. First he missed two attempts to score goals, then he got the self-confidence by some successful assists for Gensheimer goals, then he went to act himself and met in the first half four times in a row. "What he played in the first half was crucial to our success," says Prokop. And the national coach would not be himself if he had not curtailed quickly: "In addition to our defense."
And he should have added: And the performance of the audience. The Saturday night gave enough hints on how valuable the home advantage of this tournament can be. "The handball world championship in Germany seems to have arrived so slowly", Prokop took to the style of understatement when he meant the atmosphere in the arena. The guests were initially clearly unsettled by the frenetic support, later genuinely unnerved, showed up in a passing game, overheated in the goal.
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However, the Brazilians also had just under 20 hours of recovery after the heavy move against the French, while the Prokop team had a whole extra day of rest at their disposal. Brazil coach also saw a reason for the disappointing performance of his team. It was not just the strong form of the German players.
Nonetheless, the first two games have been victorious and the DHB team has made a good start to the World Cup. "It's what we envisioned, but nothing more," says Prokop. Winners were firmly scheduled against Korea and Brazil, now they are in the challenging duels with Russia, France and Serbia.
However, no one can take away the tailwind that the team has played. This rate is valid until at least Monday.