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Flash quotes: match day 8

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

GROUP II

Russia vs Spain
Poland vs Sweden
Germany vs Norway

GROUP II

Russia vs Spain 25:26

Bratislava, 21 January – Quotes from Spain coach Jordi Ribera (ESP), left wing Angel Fernandez (ESP), goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales (ESP), Russia coach Velimir Petkovic (GER), goalkeeper Viktor Kireev (RUS), left back Daniil Shishkarev (RUS) and left back Dmitrii Santalov (RUS) after Spain beat Russia 26:25 in main round group II in Bratislava.

Jordi Ribera (ESP) – coach

On the victory:

“Russia play a fantastic tournament. For us, it was a difficult match from the beginning. We knew they know how to manage the rhythm of the match, they had a great goalkeeping and defence. The crucial point in the second half was, when we struggled tactically, but then changed some things in attack and could count on our defence to win those two very important points.”

On the mentality of his team:

“We have always believed in our victory and knew we were able to win. It is really difficult to play a match when you only have 20 hours’ rest after this tough and intense match against Germany. Besides, two important players were missing [Joan Cañellas and Ian Tarrafeta]. At a tournament like this, you have to fight in every match, you cannot rest on what you had achieved the day before.”

On the last penalty:

“I did not see what had happened, but when the referees use video technology and then decide it is a penalty, then it is a penalty.”

Angel Fernandez (ESP) – left wing

On the victory:

“Russia play a very good tournament and it was a tough match. We knew that this could be the most complicated match in the tournament. Russia have a strong defence and a great goalkeeper, Viktor Kireev. We got two important points. We will see how the tournament will go on for us, but we are on a good way to get to the semi-finals.”

Rodrigo Corrales (ESP) – goalkeeper

On the victory:

“Our legs were tired, we did not have much time after yesterday’s match and it was close until the last second. Russia are an experienced team. But even when we were down by three, we kept calm and stuck to our plan and we knew what we do.”

On the way to the semi-finals:

“Sometimes you have to win exactly those matches, when you want to proceed. We still have not reached the semi, but we can seal it against Norway. We are unbeaten for 17 matches, this is a great story. We can go through the gate on Sunday, but our coach always tells us to keep the feet on the floor.”

Velimir Petkovic (GER) – coach

On the defeat:

“I am really proud of my team, my guys played a very strong match against the European champions, we want to continue in the same way.”

On the last penalty:

“It does not matter, we had a penalty and we missed it, Spain won, they have two more points and they opened the door to the semi-finals widely. In general, I have to say that the referees did a perfect job. It was not easy to award a penalty shot against Spain in the last second. They checked it by video, they were right and they did their job very well.”

Viktor Kireev (RUS) – goalkeeper

On the defeat:

“We are so disappointed, I cannot talk about my feelings, as I still have not recognized what happened. We were tired and we definitely miss Mark Sergej Kosorotov, who is such an important player for us. We played so strong, but we have lost, now we have to put all our efforts in the next match.”

Daniil Shishkarev (RUS) – left back

On the defeat:

“We played so well, but the result for us were zero points. We are so disappointed, especially how the match finished. For 40 minutes it was really great, then Spain changed the defence and scored four straight goals. We would have deserved a draw, but we missed the last chance.”

Dmtrii Santalov (RUS) – left back

On the match:

“We are disappointed that we lost but we are not disappointed that we lost against Spain, the defending champions of Europe.”

 

Poland vs Sweden

Bratislava, 21 January – Quotes from Sweden coach Glenn Solberg (NOR), line player Oscar Bergendahl (SWE), left back Felix Claar (SWE), left wing Hampus Wanne (SWE) and centre back Jim Gottfridsson (SWE), and Poland coach Patryk Rombel (POL) and left back Damian Przytula (POL)  after Sweden beat Poland 28:18 in main round group II in Bratislava on Friday.

Glenn Solberg (NOR) – coach

On the victory:

“We are very happy with the win, we played aggressive and compact in defence, we won a lot of balls mainly in the first half happy. And we are happy that we could use all our players today, as we have a tough programme here. We need to rest before we face Germany.”

Oscar Bergendahl (SWE) - line player

On the match:

“We had full control on this physical game, our defence was the key. Still, we only think from match to match and try to do our best to make it to the semis.”

Felix Claar (SWE) – left back

On the match:

“This was exactly the way we wanted to play. Our defence was strong, goalkeeper Tobias Thulin showed an outstanding match and we could run our counter-attacks. With now four points we aim for the semi-final, but still, we have two tough opponents ahead. We have improved in attack, especially in terms of speed.”

Hampus Wanne (SWE) – left wing

On their win:

“It was easier than against Russia yesterday, the keys were our defence and our goalkeeper Tobias Thulin, who saved many important shots.”

On the expectations for the remaining matches:

“We had finished the preliminary round second-ranked and did not carry a point to the main round. This means you have to win all four matches if you want to go to the semi-finals. Now we had two matches within two days and have four points on the account. On Sunday, we face a really strong German team. They had many changes, but still they have top stars from Bundesliga. There is no favourite for this match.”

Jim Gottfridsson (SWE) – centre back

On the match against Germany on Sunday:

“This match is a real final for us. It will not be easy for us, though Germany have many changes in the squad. But if we continue like we played in the last two days, we have a chance.”

Patryk Rombel (POL) – coach

On the defeat:

“Sweden played a great game, strong in defence and attack. We had 18 mistakes, this is too much to have a chance. Our problem was that we did not score and allowed Sweden to score easy goals, so the gap got bigger and bigger. We still hope for better games.”

Damian Przytula (POL) – left back

On the match:

“Sweden were better than us in every part of the game. In the beginning, we had some good moments, but after that we conceded three goals in a row, we went down and could not get up anymore.”

 

Germany vs Norway 23:28

Bratislava, 21 January – Quotes from Norway coach Christian Berge (NOR), right wing Kristian Björnsen (NOR), right back Harald Reinkind (NOR), centre back Christian O’Sullivan and right back Kent-Robin Tönnesen (NOR), and German coach Alfred Gislason (ISL), left back Julian Köster (GER) and right wing Lukas Zerbe (GER) after Norway beat Germany 28:23 in main round group II in Bratislava.

Christian Berge (NOR) – coach

On the victory:

“It was a difficult game, we were a bit tired after yesterday. Our second seven did a very good job, so we could rest our regulars. We are very satisfied with the victory.”

Kristian Björnsen (NOR) – line player

On the match:

“We are really happy with this result, we were tired, they were tired. We had some good moments, and against Germany you need those easy goals, and many of them were scored by [Erik] Toft, this made it easier in the second half.”

Harald Reinkind (NOR) – right back

On the match:

“We could have had a greater advance at the break, as our defence stood strong. Finally we could use the whole width of our squad, this was crucial. We have improved from match to match and the atmosphere in the team is great. But still, we keep the feet on the ground.”

Kent-Robin Tönnesen (NOR) – right back

On the match:

“We deserved to win though Germany were close for a long period. In the beginning, we had some problems, but then our second row decided the match. Germany struggled hard to find solutions, and we managed to go ahead quite clear. Finally, [Erik] Toft scored the crucial goals and we proved the width of our squad, especially in the second half.”

On the remaining matches against Spain and Sweden:

“We won twice in the main round and we have a lot of confidence now. Since a long time, we have not beaten Spain, so we hope that the time has come now, as we are playing better and better.”

Christian O’Sullivan (NOR), centre back

On their performance:

“It was a close game for a long time, as Germany still can count on high quality players. It took a long time, until we managed to get ahead to five or six goals. When our first row needed some rest, our second row played outstanding, they were better than the first row.”

On the chances for the semi-finals:

“We have not won against Spain in the last 18 matches, so we are really eager to end this series. Finally, the match against Sweden could be a final for the semi-final.”

Alfred Gislason (ISL) – coach

On the match:

“Norway deserved to win, they were the better team. We tried our best, we knew that it would not be easy. We played very well for the first 20 minutes, then we caused too many mistakes. Still, I am happy with my team, they never gave up and we tried to continue until the end.”

On the goal for the upcoming matches:

“We did not talk about semi-finals, even when we had our full squad. Our goal was to proceed to the main round, now we lost two matches against top teams. Those games were important for our players to learn for the future. On Sunday, against Sweden, we will not be the favourites, but we still play to win. We hope that that some infected players might return to the team.”

Julian Köster (GER) – left back

On the match:

“It was a really hard game, we had a good defence but had problems in attack. With so many mistakes you cannot win. Of course, the defeat means a huge disappointment, we fought well, but caused too many mistakes in attack and were punished immediately.”

Lukas Zerbe (GER) – right wing

On the match:

“We played well in the first half, and then – like against Spain – we failed in the re-start after the break. In many situations, we were really unlucky. But we proved that our team spirit and mentality are alive and that we fight until the very end.”

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