Bad To The Bone
February 1, 2016
Germany humiliated Spain in the European Championship final, winning 24:17.
By Peter Bruun
Germany did not only win the final at the EHF EURO 2016 against Spain. For long stretches of the match Germany’s self-declared “Bad Boys” practically humiliated the Spaniards, who will have to wait for their first European title. Judging by their efforts this past Sunday evening, they may have to hold off for quite some time.
Final EHF EURO 2016 Germany vs Spain 24:17 (10:6)
Let’s take a look at how the German players did in the final, on a scale from 6 to 1.
(6 = World-Class) | 5 = Exceptional | 4 = Good | 3 = Fair | 2 = Marginal | 1 = Inadequate)
Carsten Lichtlein – | Did Not Play; not judged.
Andreas Wolff | 6 – with a saving percentage above 50 during most oft he match and close to this mark at the end of it, his performance was the most critical in Germany’s spectacular triumph.
Johannes Sellin | 3 – did not play much. Scored on a penalty goal but also got himself a two-minutes suspension.
Finn Lemke | 4 – A very solid performance in a brilliant German defense formation.
Tobias Reichmann | 3 – Once again most reliable from the right-wing, but his two missed penalties against Arpad Sterbik reduces the note just a bit.
Fabian Wiede | 2 – Not his day; did not play much, but still had time to shoot four times – and missed on all attempts.
Hendrik Pekeler | 5 – A huge and fine job in Germany’s central defense, in addition to a stellar performance on the other side of the court.
Martin Strobel | 3 – An acceptable performance during the minutes he was on the court.
Erik Schmidt | 3 – Started well in defense, but his impact was reduced by two early suspensions. A few successful actions when playing offense.
Steffen Fäth | 4 – An enormous effort at both ends of the pitch, though not particularly fortunate with his shots.
Kai Häfner | 5 – Continued where he left-off in the semi-final against Norway, where he scored the deciding goal. A brilliant performance in attack with seven goals on 10 attempts from right-back position.
Rune Dahmke | 4 – Another excellent game by the talented left-winger from THW Kiel, who proved that he is capable of scoring from other positions as well.
Julius Kühn | 4 – had his best moments when playing defense; some successful actions in attack, including one goal.
Simon Ernst | did not play long enough to be judged.
Niclas Pieczkowski – | did not play long enough to be judged.
Jannik Kohlbacher – 4 – did an outstanding job in defense during the first half, crowning his superb performance with a goal.
Dagur Sigurdsson | 6 – Germany´s Icelandic coach has revealed himself as a tactical genius, if not before already, then certainly at this EURO in Poland and definitely in the final match. He made his players believe in themselves and trust each other.
Bronze medal match Norway vs Croatia 24:31 (11:15)
Norway caught up with a Croatian five-goal lead in the second half – only to see the Croatians run away again. The Balkan team took the bronze medal, while Norway has to be content with their best result at a major men´s championship ever.
Before this tournament, Norway’s most outstanding achievement was a sixth place at EURO 2008 at home.
The win qualifies Croatia directly for the next World Championship in France in 2017, while Norway will have to go through play-offs against Slovenia to clinch their World Championship berth.
However, let us finish our EURO coverage by spending a few words on the rising star of the tournament – Norway´s playmaker Sander Sagosen – who played the last two matches of the competition with a broken hand.
If Jan Larsen, director of Sagosen´s Danish club, Aalborg Håndbold, is a wise man – and there is every reason to think he is – he will take the opportunity to record a substantial sum of money by sending him off to one of Europe’s top clubs. Considering the fantastic performance of young Sagosen during EURO 2016, they will definitely not have become any less interested. Provided, of course, that Sagosen feels that he is ready to take the next step in his career.