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Netherlands mark Johansson’s debut with victory

EHF / Courtney Gahan

New coach of the Netherlands Per Johansson had a perfect start to his venture, guiding the two-time EHF EURO medallists to a clear win over Germany, 31:25.

To make the victory even more special, it was taken against the former coach of the side, Henk Groener, now at the helm for Germany.

GROUP 3

Germany vs Netherlands 25:31 (12:10)

  • the first half was a close contest with each team taking their turn with the lead before Germany took a narrow upper hand into the break, but the second period saw The Netherlands more dominant
  • Dutch goalkeeper Tess Wester made 13 saves, including two in the final stages to help the Netherlands finish strong
  • with 10 minutes to go, the chance was still there for Germany, as they were behind by just three goals at 21:24
  • it is the sixth win for the Netherlands against Germany in a total of 10 mutual encounters
  • The Netherlands are now the sole leaders on top of group 3, with the maximum points, while this was Germany’s first defeat and they stay on three points. The reverse fixture will be played in Rotterdam on Saturday

Will Johansson be the answer?

The Netherlands reached every semi-final at major championships from the World Championship in 2015 through to the same event in 2019, winning five medals in the process. Those medals were won with three different coaches — now Germany coach Henk Groener, Danish mastermind Helle Thomsen and Metz coach Emmanuel Mayonnade — so no one leader was the key, but there has been a semi-final drought since the world title was won in Japan.

Will Per Johansson be the coach to bring the Dutch not only to the final tournament of the EHF EURO 2022 but back to the medal rounds? The Swedish coach is known not only for his role on the bench, but his ability to bring great team spirit to a squad.

Whatever the future holds, it was a great win to start Johansson’s new venture.

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