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Spain squeezes Germany amid covid panic

Pérez de Vargas, before a shot from German Pilipp Weber.picture alliance (dpa/picture alliance via Getty I)

In the midst of the anxiety caused by covid, which continues to multiply in the European Championship, Spain climbed another step. An important one. Fourth game, fourth victory and another great performance that continues to revalue its shares. For the result and the residue it leaves. After passing the exam against Sweden, against Germany he also performed wonderfully. As of minute 25, the defense and an outstanding Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas (16 saves and 41% accuracy) dried up the Germans, who went more than 15 minutes without scoring and had nothing to say. From 12-12 to 12-19, a jump in the scoreboard that summed up the clash and Spanish happiness.

Any analysis , in any case, was influenced by the action of the bug. Four hours before taking the field, Spain lost Joan Cañellas and Ian Tarrafeta, who will not return in the best of cases until the last match of the second phase, next Tuesday against Poland. Much worse was for Germany, which has 12 positives, a dozen of them in the last week, and resists as best it can with its extensive wardrobe. Insufficient in front of some Hispanics launched.

With more than a hundred infections among all the teams since January 1, arrived At this point in the championship, the tests weigh as much or more than the arms of the players. Spain was one of the five teams that had not yet suffered any positive and now the fear is that the falls of Cañellas and Tarrafeta lead to an outbreak. The game of the national team grows in each demanding exam, but everything moves to caution, inevitably pending the laboratories as well as the field. This Friday, with less than 24 hours of rest, Russia awaits (15.30, Tdp), which has also lost its star Kosorotov (17 goals).

For now, Spain responded to the first bad news of the covid with a performance of great merit. In times of uncertainty, nothing better than defense and goal. The rhythm and background music was provided by Agustín Casado, a debutant who remained the only pure central defender after the mandatory confinement of Tarrafeta. Spain progresses and a rookie like him, too. And in full flood, the signing was put by Jorge Maqueda and Ferran Solé, with six and five goals in the second half, respectively.

Married and another pipiolo, Julian Köster, lit the fuse to the duel. The case of the German is surprising, perhaps the best reflection of the variety of resources of the Germans to face these unstable times. A 21-year-old player from the second division, from Gummersbach, was recruited urgently due to the avalanche of positives, and on Tuesday against Poland he already scored six goals without fail and against Spain he started with good lyrics: two goals in the first blink and marking the rhythm of theirs. His footsteps, yes, were diluted, but not those of Casado, who was the player with the most lights of the Spanish start and with his signs throughout the entire clash. He scored, assisted Figueras and caused seven meters.

🙆‍♂️ Crazy what you've done against Germany @PerezdVargas, CRAZY! 🔥#Hispanos #EHFEURO2022 #WatchGamesSeeMore pic.twitter.com/gdH5rEWxgS

— RFEBalonmano (@RFEBalonmano) January 20, 2022

The meeting was for a photo finish, with hardly any advantages, until the Spanish defense marked the turning point. Without warning, he squeezed the Teutons with six minutes to go before the break and everything began to be decided there. It was difficult for him, yes, to stretch on the scoreboard because he denied his rival, but then he failed several actions before the break that prevented him from getting more of a slice (12-14).

The first attacks of the second half recovered the first protagonists, and the outcome of both was the sign of things to come: Köster failed and Casado scored. There was no going back in the duel. Spain unfolded with a resounding force that scorched Germany, and no one symbolized the flood better than Pérez de Vargas, who in the middle of the second half exhibited a 71% success rate in his interventions. The Germans tried it by resorting to seven against six, but neither. Only Ziecker had something to say against the Barça goalkeeper, a colossus at the time.

Screwed back, the party ended up adding the attack. First with Ferran Solé and then with Jorge Maqueda, discreet at the start of the European Championship and this Thursday unleashed. Spain begins to think that the semifinals are not so far away. With permission from the covid.

Germany, 23- Spain, 29

Germany: Bitter (p), Rebmann (p), Golla (4), Wiencek (2), Reichmann (2), Wiede (1), Zerbe (1), Köster (3), Weber (2), Stutzke (2), Dahmke (1), Ernst (1), Steinert, Drux, Ziecker ( 4).

Spain: Pérez de Vargas (P), Corrales (P), Gurbindo (1), Peciña, Maqueda ( 6), Fernández, Solé (5), Figueras (4), Casado (5), García (3), Gómez (4), Ariño, Guardiola, Sánchez-Migallón, Márquez (1) and Odriozola.

Partials every five minutes: 3-3, 4-5, 8-8, 10-10, 12-13, 12-14 —rest— , 12-16, 13-20, 14-21, 18-24, 21-28, 23-29.

Referees : Charlotte Bonaventura and Julie Bonaventura. Golla was excluded for two minutes.

Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, 1,683 spectators.

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