Because Sarah Draguljic was nominated before the Pandza case, interim coach Helfried Müller again only had twelve players against Spain. “There are fewer and fewer, it always catches those who played well in the last game,” said Müller on ORF. But he could be quite satisfied with the performance of his rump troop against Spain.
The Austrians missed chances of a better result, especially in the first half. “We had too many technical mistakes, the first half broke our necks,” said Patricia Kovacs. “But we didn’t give up and kept fighting. After many setbacks, I am proud of the team. It was fun to play against this incredible backdrop. “
“There was more in it”
Interim coach Müller also highlighted the character of his team. “There was more to it than that, I’m not satisfied with the result in the first half, but we played a fantastic second half.”
Austria finished Group H with two points in third place behind Spain (6) and Argentina (4) as well as in front of the pointless China. On Wednesday it will then continue against Brazil in Torrevieja. “It’s not that easy to replace top performers. But the team will always fight and work, ”promised Müller.
Before the match against vice world champions Spain, they learned of the recent coronavirus findings. “We are speechless,” said Kovacs in view of the continued growth of the cluster. Five other players have been in quarantine for a long time. Despite the misery, it was decided to compete against the tournament favorites.
ÖHB President Markus Plazer affirmed that the health of his and the opposing players is the top priority. However, he also referred to various interests, and not appearing could have resulted in penalties. “There is also the sporting interest, the interest of the organizer and also the interest of Austria. We were and are in contact with the IHF and our team doctor on all topics, ”said the head of the association.
Hope for returnees
The four top performers Petra Blazek, Sonja Frey, Stefanie Kaiser and Nina Neidhart as well as team boss Herbert Müller and a Kotrainer had already dropped out before the win against China. For the duel with Argentina then also Josefine Huber.
In the main round against Brazil, Croatia and Japan, there could be more than a dozen again – assuming no further new infections. Because you have the concession from the organizer and the world federation that a free test from the team hotel quarantine is possible in the coming days, according to the ÖHB. Herbert Müller, who suffers from symptoms, is in quarantine in the southern part of the city. It is questionable whether he will be able to follow suit.
Handball World Cup in Spain
Spain – Austria 31:19 (14: 6)
ÖHB goal scorers: Kovacs (8), Leitner (4), Schindler (4), Ivancok, Reichert, Tomasini
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Handball World Cup: ÖHB rump team is clearly subject to Spain