Handball EM – Austria’s handball team disappointed at the start

The European Championships in Hungary and Slovakia started with a disappointment for Austria’s handball men. On Friday, Rot-Weiss-Rot lost to Poland 31:36 (14:17) in Bratislava and thus already have their backs to the wall. Germany, who beat Belarus at the start, is the next tough opponent on Sunday (6 p.m. / ORF1) before Belarus awaits at the end on Tuesday. At least second place in Group D is required for the targeted promotion to the main round.

The start was ideal for team boss Ales Pajovic with two fine passes from Gerald Zeiner to Kreis Fabian Posch and a 2-0 lead. The Poles, who acted strongly in defence, as expected, didn’t let themselves be shaken off, took a 5:4 lead for the first time in the eighth minute and didn’t let that be taken away from them until the end. While Rot-Weiss-Rot repeatedly had trouble in attack, the Poles, who were affected by seven corona cases, hardly made any mistakes in contrast to Austria – goalie Golub Doknic also did not find his way into his first final for Austria.

The result: Shooter Szymon Sicko (5 goals before the break) and Co. gradually increased the lead in the hall, which was filled with around 2,000 of the 2,500 seats allowed, to 16:12 (27th) – which after his long injury break is visible handicapped ÖHB star Nikola Bilyk was already on the bench. However, Austria survived this tricky phase and kept the deficit within limits at the break.

Bilyk came back early in the second half with his first goal to make it 16:19, but a little later they were five goals down again (16:21/36.). The will was not to deny Austria, but the chance to get two goals at the score of 20:23 remained unused. In a phase in which the ÖHB selection had to act twice outnumbered, Poland again dropped to 26:21 and 27:22.

After a red card for Sicko after a dangerous attack against Bilyk and a brief formation of a pack (47th), Sebastian Frimmel kept the game halfway open with two penalty throws (25:29/49th). Poland also scored easy goals on the offensive and did not let Austria come close.

Germans with work victory against Belarus

The Germans had previously started at the same place with a 33:29 (17:18) work victory over Belarus. Germany’s younger squad got off to a nervous and flawed start, and the physically strong Belarusians took advantage of that to create a 7-2 lead by the 11th minute. Coach Alfred Gislason’s team worked their way back step by step, took the lead for the first time after around 20 minutes (11:10) and ultimately celebrated a hard-fought victory.

Ten minutes after the restart, in which Kai Häfner (8 goals as well as Marcel Schiller) and Co. had worked their way up from 20:20 to 25:21, were decisive. Best throwers from Belarus, who are Austria’s final opponents in the preliminary round on Tuesday, were Uladsislau Kulesh and Mikita Wajlupau with 7 goals each. (apa)

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