Strong defence helps Germany overcome Poland

MAL7445 V
EHF / Björn Pazen

Germany have overcame a scare and a four-goal deficit to beat Poland 25:23 in their Women's EHF EURO 2022 opener in Podgorica on Saturday.

Germany were down 11:7 against Poland, but then turned the match around thanks to a 9:2 series, which turned the neighbouring duel into a real thriller. Some outstanding goals of Emily Bölk and a saved penalty by Isabell Roch in the final stages decided the match. It was Poland's 10th straight match at final tournaments without a win.  


Poland vs Germany 23:25 (12:11) 

  • both sides focused on the defence in the first half, and as Germany caused a huge number of technical mistakes, Poland easily managed to convert those turnovers into goals 
  • after goalkeeper Adriana Placzek saved two penalty shots, her teammates managed to pull ahead to 11:7, but Germany improved in the last minutes before the break, mainly thanks to five goals of Alina Grijseels, who was later awarded Player of the Match
  • Germany built a concrete wall right from the start of the second half, and allowed Poland only one goal in the first nine minutes to forge ahead to 16:13, as also Filter’s saving percentage increased to 45 
  • but Poland fought back, levelled at 17:17 and even pulled ahead to 21:19 – and again profited from the high number of German mistakes in attack 
  • nothing was decided until minute 58, when Poland missed their last penalty – and Germany scored for the decisive 25:23

From slow start to a true thriller 

After a low-level start, full of nervousness, typical for an opening match, the neighbours' duel became a full-speed thriller in the second half, a roller-coaster ride, up and down. Poland tried everything to end their negative EHF EURO series with one draw and eight defeats in their nine match since 2014. The lead changed constantly after the break, 16:13 for Germany, 21:19 for Poland, 23:22 for Germany. The decision came when Isabell Roch saved a penalty shot of Magda Balsam two minutes before the end, followed by Johana Stockschläder’s strike for 25:23.

Emily Bölk, Germany left back: "A tough piece of work, pure fight in defence and attack. From the first to the last second, it was a very physical match. In the beginning, we had problems in attack, a typical start of a first match. Poland were physically strong, so it was one of the toughest matches I played in the last years."

Poland coach Arne Senstad: "We showed that we were well prepared and we played a match as we should with a tough defence. I was really impressed and happy with the first half. I am proud of my girls and their fighting spirit, we have a hell of a character in our team."

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