Bitter end to the European Championship: ÖHB handball players lost to Iceland

Bitter end to the European Championship: ÖHB handball players lost to Iceland
Great performance from Constantin Möstl
Image: APA/Ina Fassbender

For Austria, the fairy tale at the European Handball Championships in Germany does not have a happy ending.

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Team boss Pales Pajovic’s selection lost 24:26 in the last main round game on Wednesday in Cologne Iceland. A win and support would have been needed to reach the semi-finals. Austria’s exact final position was only determined after the remaining games on Wednesday evening.

Mykola Bilyk and Co. also offered a fighting performance in the last main round appearance. After a phase of weakness at the end, it already smelled like a preliminary decision in Iceland’s favor with 8:14 at the break. The Austrians really turned up the heat after the break and even took the lead in the 43rd minute (16:15).

Herburger got fit in time

Thanks to the recovery of defense chief Lukas Herburger, Austria was able to play with a full squad, while Iceland had to do without the injured playmaker Gisli Kristjansson, among others. However, Red-White-Red got off to a weak start with too many missed throws and only had Constantin Möstl to thank for not falling further behind than 2:4 (8th).

The goalie saved eight attempts in the first quarter of an hour alone and gave his team the lead for the first time in the 14th minute (5:4).

But that was quickly gone again, and an ÖHB team that had been battered by six tough games so far continued to struggle at the front and fell behind. Iceland made it 8:6 (20th) and 10:8 (24th) and increased it to plus-3 for the first time in the 26th minute or, after two of the Austrians’ noticeably many technical errors, to plus-5 (13:8/28th). .). The 7:6 power play wasn’t lucky this time either; the Icelanders’ six-goal lead at the break seemed to bring about a small preliminary decision.

The opportunities were not taken advantage of

But once again Austria showed fighting spirit, stopped the Icelanders from playing quickly and came within 14:15 (37th) with a 6:1 run. Möstl continued to act particularly conspicuously, allowing Tobias Wagner, who had previously been denied twice, to equalize at 15:15 (41′). Iceland seemed completely out of control, Weber even managed to take a 16:15 lead with a seven-meter shot (43′).

The game was on a knife’s edge until the end, and the Icelanders’ two-goal lead (22:20/54.) was no indication. In a dramatic final phase, only the 26:24 score for Iceland was the preliminary decision. Austria, being outnumbered, could no longer get close.

Handball European Championship, main round, 4th round: Austria – Iceland 24:26 (8:14). Best throwers AUT: Wagner 7, Weber 5, Bilyk 4

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