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Flash quotes: match day 2

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Post-match statements after the second day of the EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia.

GROUP B

Portugal vs Iceland

GROUP D

Germany vs Belarus
Austria vs Poland

GROUP B

Portugal vs Iceland 24:28

Budapest, 14 January — Quotes from Iceland coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson (ISL), Sigvaldi Bjørn Gudjonsson (ISL), and left wing Bjarki Már Elísson (ISL), and Portugal coach Paulo Pereira (POR), Fabio Magalhaes (POR) and line player Victor Iturizza (POR after Iceland beat Portugal 28:24 in the preliminary round 1 match in Budapest Handball Arena at the EHF EURO 2022 on Friday.

Gudmundur Gudmundsson (ISL) — coach

On the match:

“We of course have great respect for Portugal as a handball nation because they have been playing very well in recent years and we know what they are capable of. This time, we performed very well.

“In the defence, if we are not maybe talking about the first minutes, after that we played good. It is not easy to play against Portugal. They have very good players and clever players, and I think we did a good job.

“I think Portugal is the best team in the world to play seven-against-six, and I am very, very happy how we performed in this situation. I think most of the time we played well. We had a clear plan and we followed it. Maybe only in the last 10 minutes we were not playing as good anymore — maybe because the players knew we had already won the game or something, I don’t know. But I am very happy with this start and the victory against a very strong team.”

On the next game, against the Netherlands:

“We saw the Netherlands play very well against Hungary. I think they deserved to win. They were better from the beginning to the end. Having said that, of course I know we are facing a very strong opponent. We saw them play a training game against Sweden and they performed very well also in this game, so we are preparing for a very difficult game against a good team.

“Of course, they have had, when we will play, they will have had two days to rest. We have only one. This is difficult when it is like this. It is the same for Portugal when playing Hungary — this is a very difficult situation for our teams now. But this is the way it is. We know we are facing a very good opponent when talking about the Netherlands.”

Sigvaldi Bjørn Gudjonsson (ISL) — right wing

On the match:

“First of all, I am very happy about the result. We didn’t play any training matches so we didn’t really know how we would be this first game, but indeed we played very well — especially in defence. Portugal is such a strong team, especially in seven-against-six. It’s difficult to play against them because they know every little thing; every little tactic.

“But today we fought a lot and in defence we worked very well as a team, so I’m very happy about that, and the goalkeepers were doing well. In attack, we won a lot of duels one against one, and that’s our big strength. This team has a lot of players that are good one-against-one. So, we just need to continue that. It was only the first game but I'm really happy that we won this game.”

Bjarki Már Elísson (ISL) – left wing

On their performance:

“At the beginning we struggled as we did not have the opportunity to play friendly matches before the tournament, but I think after a few minutes we were able to find our strength and we controlled the game. We were able to score from every position which is fine before a clash against the Netherlands.”

On their next match, against the Netherlands:

“Now we would like to rest a bit but tomorrow we will start our preparation for the next game, and we would like to enjoy that one as well.”

Paulo Pereira (POR) — coach

On the match:

“Iceland also have very good players and a very smart coach. Because of this maybe, we lost the game. Of course, he knows that we are physically not ready for this game — they know that we can suffer a lot in duels. We prepared a little bit for this situation — a little bit, because you know we had problems preparing the team.

“But okay, we must say today that Iceland were better. I only must say that we did our job in the maximum of our capacity that we can do. Of course, we can do better than this. Congratulations to Iceland and I wish that they continue to the main round.”

On the next match, against Hungary:

“Now we are going to prepare for the game against Hungary because we have options. In the beginning, a journalist asked me about the situation with the team, and I said to him that we are still alive and we can win. And I will say again, against Hungary, the same thing.”

On having one day to prepare against Hungary and how he will do it:

“We will do everything that we can. One day is one day. Hungary is a very strong team. They play at home, but also we have our options again. When you are alive, you have options.”

Fabio Magalhaes (POR) — left back

On the match:

“It was a tough game for us. They made it tough and they played really well. In the first half we missed good chances from six metres and we went to half-time a few goals back. In the second half we tried to come back and make our job but they were stronger today. We must prepare for the game against Hungary to win and be here to the main round.”

Victor Iturizza (POR) – line player

On the match:

“This game was not easy for us because of the many injuries and Covid cases in the team, but we tried our best and I think we fought hard against Iceland. We played well but not well enough to win this match. Now we have to stand up and keep going on and focus on the next clash. We know that the match against Hungary will also be a difficult one but we would like to beat them.”

GROUP D

Germany vs Belarus 33:29

Bratislava, 14 January – Quotes from Germany coach Alfred Gislason (ISL), player Christoph Steinert (GER), Belarus coach Iouri Chevtsov (BLR) and player Artsem Karalek (BLR) after Germany beat Belarus 33:29 in group D at the Ondrej Nepela Aréna on Friday.

Alfred Gislason (ISL) – coach

On the victory:

“I’m very happy that we managed to win this game and to take two points. We had big problems mainly in the first half, as we conceded 18 goals and could not control the Belarusian attack. We had problems with [Artsem] Karalek, [Uladzislau] Kulesh and in some periods the whole Belarusian attack. After 15 minutes we improved in attack, and finally also our defence stood stronger. We can do some things much better but we are very happy to win this game and to start with two points.”

On Kai Häfner, top scorer and Grundfos Player of the Match:

“It was the best match I ever saw from Kai Häfner, not only because of his goals but also his assists and work for the team.”

On changing his line-up quite early:

“We played with our experienced players from minute 10 on, then it worked well. None of our players managed to get into the match in the first 10 minutes.

“I knew that goalkeeper Andreas Wolff is strong, when he comes from the bench, and he proved this today. Unfortunately, he was not supported by our defence all over the match, but in the final 15 minutes this cooperation worked well.”

Christoph Steinert (GER) - right wing

On the match:

“Belarus are a very intelligent team with high quality players so we are very happy to start successfully. The key point was when we played more efficiently in attack and later on played well in defence, but still we need to improve our defence in the next matches.”

Iouri Chevtsov (BLR) – coach

On the defeat:

“My team had a good start, we were the better team in the first half. Germany had shown their better side after minute 15 and managed to get ahead.

“In the second half the game changed and we did not play patient enough. We had problems in defence, as our central defender had received two suspensions very early and this affected our style of defending. In the crucial period after the break, we missed too many shots, which broke the game. A strong team like Germany takes advantage of those mistakes.”

Artsem Karalek (BLR) – line player

On the match:

"It was not the best match of both teams. Our first half was good, but in only five to seven minutes after the break, Germany broke the game and pulled ahead. When we were three, four goals below, we could not catch the rhythm, as in the last 20 minutes we ran and we did not think what do to and lost the balls too often. Germany belong to the best teams, so this match was a good experience for our team to go step by step."

 

Austria vs Poland 31:36

Bratislava, 14 January – Quotes from Austria coach Ales Pajovic (SLO), player Fabian Posch (AUT), Poland coach Patryk Rombel (POL) and player Patrick Walczak (POL) after Poland beat Austria 36:31 in group D in Bratislava.

Patryk Rombel (POL) – coach

On the match and the situation before:

"We knew it will be a hard game, but firstly it was a great pleasure for us to be here, because at 5pm we did not even know if we can play. We were really mentally exhausted after what happened in the last three days and with those many tests. We were happy that we played and the way we played. We fulfilled our plan for the match, hopefully it was not the last win at this tournament."

Patryk Walczak (POL) – line player

On the victory:

"It was a tough fight for us even before the game, but we survived an finally could play and win. This game was an important first step for us in this tournament, and I hope the next matches will be the same."

Ales Pajovic (SLO) – coach, Austria

On the reasons for the defeat:

"Poland played really well despite all their many problems with Covid. They managed to play a really good match. Our defence did not played how we wanted, we could not stop them, mainly their three metres tall line players. In attack, we tried everything, we were fighting until the end, but it was not enough to win."

Fabian Posch (AUT) – line player

On the match:

"We are super-disappointed, as it was our plan to start the tournament with a good feeling. We had big problems in defence, had too much respect for their line players and gave their back players a lot of space. You cannot win with a defence like this. In contrast, our attack was okay, but in crucial moments we missed our shots and caused mistakes – so finally it was not enough for 60 minutes."

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