An impressive number of German fans watched first euro match of their young national team. It was a hard and well-deserved victory against the Russian national team. The final score was 21:20 for Germany.
It was the 5th minute of their first euro match when Germany gained the lead that they didn’t want to give up to the Russians. Only time Russia had a chance to tie things up was 20 minutes after the match began. It was 7:6, and Nikita Ilitinskii was in the fast break alone with German goalkeeper Johannes Jepsen. He was quick enough but not precise enough. Germans were still in the lead.
They had a little crisis five minutes before the end of the first half when they couldn’t score any points (10:8). Coach Erik Wudtke decided that it’s time for the team timeout and his chosen ones managed to keep the two-point advantage over Russians.
Germans entered the second part more aggressively. With joined forces goalkeeper Johannes Jepsen with his two saves and Juri Knorr with his two points from half breaks managed to increase German’s lead (14:10).
But it couldn’t be that easy, and it shouldn’t be. Russians were keeping up, and 10 minutes before the end Aleksandr Kovalenko evens out the things. It was a small spark of hope but not for too long. After team time-out, Germans got the lead back, and the final result was 21:20.
The top German scorer was Juri Knorr with five goals while Vet Chan Suan scored six for Russia.
Best German player was Juri Knorr and on Russian’s side Aleksandr Kovalenko.
‘The first match on a tournament is always hard. The both teams were very nervous and had a lot of problems with the ball in first half. In the second half, we were faster in transition and won by one. Our goalkeeper had 3 or 4 crucial saves, it was a question of fortune and today we were the more fortunate team’, said Wudtke Erik, coach of Germany.
‘We are satisfied with two points, but our performance on the floor just wasn’t good enough. We need to step up and start to play better from next game’, said best German player Knorr Juri.
‘My team was playing good handball and I don’t know what happened at the end of the game. We lost just by one goal and I’m pleased with the performance of my team’, said Kelnov Sergej, Russian coach.
Group C, Round 1:
Germany – Russia 21:20