Germany’s usual attacking prowess was nowhere to be seen, but they survived an early scare to seal a point against Poland in a 21:21 draw.
Therefore, the Germans proceed to the main round, despite failing to win their last two games, while Poland finished last in the group for the third time in a row and are eliminated.
Germany vs Poland 21:21 (9:8)
- it was a do-or-die game for both teams and the pressure was there on display; Germany had a 43 per cent attacking efficiency, while Poland hit only 42 per cent of their shots in the first half
- Poland jumped to a 6:2 lead after ten minutes, but failed to score more than two goals in the next 20, with Germany coming back and taking a 9:8 lead at the break
- German goalkeeper Dinah Eckerle saved nine shots for a 53 per cent save efficiency in the first half, single-handedly bringing back her side into the game
- after four lead changes in the second half, Germany went on a 4:1 run between the 50th and 56th minutes that sealed their place in the main round
- Germany join Norway and Romania from this group and will start the next phase with two points, after beating Romania in the first game
Lack of depth was Poland’s undoing
Poland’s lack of depth on the bench was their undoing both against Romania and Germany. Missing backs Karolina Kudlacz and Kinga Achruk and wing Monika Kobylinska, the Polish side looked too inexperienced and threw away early leads in the last two games.
They led against Romania until the 47th minute, yet lost by a four-goal margin, 28:24, while Germany was down by one, 18:17, in the final game of the group phase.
Germany coach Henk Groener said: "It was a tough game for us, we did not find our rhythm, especially in defence, we were down by four, 6:2. We had big problems in attack to score the goals, because we are used to score a lot in a half, 18 or 19 goals, but now we only managed to score nine times. We did not have the courage in attack, we need more on fast breaks, so these are things that must be corrected.”
Poland coach Arne Senstad said: "I cannot state anything else that I am proud of my girls, we did everything we talked about from a tactical standpoint.
"Our girls really wanted to win, they are a little bit sad, but for me, everyone should know, that these girls are the future, I promise that we will come back and show that we are serious about this.”