The German handball players want to build on the outstanding defensive performance from the game against Poland on their way to the World Cup quarter-finals.

“Coverage wins games. We need courage in defense. We hope that we can show this handball for a long time and in many phases,” said national coach Markus Gaugisch after a brilliant defensive performance by the DHB team. “The most important insight is that we can play handball the way we want.”

Three decades after the historic World Cup triumph in 1993, which is now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the basis for a new World Cup glory hour has been laid. In the surprisingly safe 33:17 against Poland, the German squad not only won the group, but also impressed in the game. “The defense was incredibly good today. That is the key to success,” said co-captain Alina Grijseels. Teammate Amelie Berger found the evening a “handball enjoyment”. “We were able to show that we can play great handball. Now the next opponents can come.”

In the second phase of the tournament, Germany will face title candidates Denmark, Romania and, presumably, Serbia in a group of six. The first main round duel is on Thursday. The two best teams then qualify for the quarter-finals – the minimum goal of the German Handball Association. “We have to continue to be focused and defend like this. We need concentration from every player,” Grijseels appealed to the team.

“The girls have a clear plan”

DHB sports director Axel Kromer believes the German handball players can advance to the World Cup semi-finals. “The chances are increasing because the girls are self-confident and have a clear plan. It remains to be seen whether this will continue to work. But I believe that we can manage it,” said Kromer.

“We know about our strength, but also the quality of the upcoming opponents. Nevertheless, we obviously want to get through the main round successfully,” said Kromer.

Goalkeeper Katharina Filter, who delivered a strong performance in the duel with Poland, set the motto for the rest of the tournament. “Of course we want to win everything we can in the main round and not stop in the quarter-finals, but rather move forward,” said the 24-year-old.