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Photo: Uroš Hočevar

Serbia powerless against favorites from Germany

Nikolić’s 11 scored goals weren’t enough for Serbia to defeat Germany

The underdog of the match were Serbs. But still, they were determined to challenge Germany. Nikola Ćirović and Davor Čaušević were in charge for Juri Knorr. They had to make sure he doesn’t come in contact with the ball. Still, he managed to score five goals in the first halftime and eight goals in total. First team time-out Serbia’s coach Aleksandar Radosavljević called after first 15 minutes of the game right after Germany scored for their first three-point lead (8:5). At the minute 25 Serbia lost their player Nikola Stefanović who got himself a 2-minute penalty, so Germany used the opportunity to make a four-point lead. The one who was keeping Serbia in the game was Jovica Nikolić who scored seven goals in the first halftime.

Two minutes before the end of the first halftime because of 2-minute suspension, Germany had one player less, so Serbia sized the opportunity, and by the end of the first halftime they were only one goal behind. The first part of the match ended with the result 14:13 for Germany.

Thanks to Nikolić’s three in the row scores Serbia managed to tie things up and even gain a one-point lead. But not for long! Soon Germany made 4-0 series: Matzken, Goller, Durmaz, Fuss and 10 minutes into the second halftime the result was 19:17. Despite Serbia’s effort to tie the result, Germany was keeping them at the two-point distance. It was minute 47 and Germany had four-goal lead (23:19), but their player Tolga Durmaz got a 2-minute penalty. Despite the lack of players at the field, Germany managed to stay in the lead and keep Serbia at a safe distance. In the last minute of the match, Knorr and Damm score for a five-goal lead. The final result was 32:27.

Best player of the national team of Germany was  Ian Weber, and best player of the national team of Serbia was Jovica Nikolić. Best scorer for Germany was Juri Knorr with eight scored goals, and best scorer for Serbia was Jovica Nikolić with eleven goals.

Serbia coach, Aleksandar Radosavljević: ‘I said at the beginning of the tournament that our inexperience might prove to be a problem for us. We missed some easy shots, lost the ball way too easily when we should have taken control of the match. Some players in the attack just didn’t have the self-confidence Nikolic and Petric had. Defensively, we stopped their best player, but our goalkeepers weren’t good enough, one even got sent off. We needed more help, and the score would have been better for us.’

Serbia player, Jovica Nikolić: ‘I think we stopped Knorr, but unfortunately they played very well as a team. Germany were tactically well-prepared for this match and held together like a real team. We didn’t do so well in defence, our goalkeepers were not on top of their game. We were also a bit unlucky, got tired in the end. We’ll go and try to beat France.’

Germany coach, Erik Wudtke: ‘We managed to win, but that’s the only positive thing for us to take from this game. The second point is no injuries, but overall a bad game, no heart, but a win for us. There was no fighting spirit in our game, I’m glad we won, but not happy with the match. We have Spain next, we’ve met in the group. I think it will be a tough match because Spain play very good defence, a lot of running, but also some good offensive players. It will be very hard to beat them.’

Germany player, Ian Weber: Serbia was a tough opponent for us. We were in a tough situation after a loss to Sweden two days ago. That was a tough hit for our team, so it was difficult having to prove ourselves again. We did it, we fought well. We didn’t play so well, but our fight was good. We won against Spain in the group phase, but tomorrow it will be different. It will be a hard game, our defence will be the key, but also we cannot allow ourselves to make so many mistakes versus their defence.’

Cross matches 5 – 8

Germany – Serbia 32:27 (14:13)

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