A replacement for the quarters. The French team qualified for the semi-finals of the World Handball Championship after beating Germany in pain (35-28) on Wednesday in Gdansk (Poland), well helped by the performance of its second goalkeeper, Rémi Desbonnet.
The Blues, reigning Olympic champions, will face Sweden on Friday at their home in Stockholm (victorious over Egypt 26-22), their executioner in the last four during the previous edition and then again at Euro-2022. A strong opponent, reigning European champion, on the road to a seventh world crown.
If the Olympic champions hang a new star on their jersey on Sunday, they will be able to thank Desbonnet greatly, who pulled off a good thorn in their foot against Germany, whom they had beaten in the two previous confrontations, for the medal of bronze at the 2019 World Cup and in pools at the 2021 Olympics. The Montpellier, of a modest size (1.82 m) for the post, unfolded his work in two stages. In the first, before the break, he slowly rose in temperature after coming into play in place of Gérard, who left after a quarter of an hour without having made the slightest save.
Unlike his counterpart Andreas Wolff, disgusting the Blues in the first period, who could be happy to be tied at the break (16-16) with only 50% shooting success. The Kielce goalkeeper made nearly ten saves before the break, including a double on Nikola Karabatic (10th, 8-5 for Germany) or a spectacular, right leg almost at head level, against Dika Mem who left alone in counter-attack (20th).
Richardson also at the rendezvous
Desbonnet, 30, made his first save just eight minutes after coming into play, but he heated the machine definitely launched after two consecutive saves, the second against Patrick Groetzki (29th) launched alone against him. After the break, the substitute goalkeeper was almost impassable for almost ten minutes (34-43rd) during which he made seven saves on eight shots. The Germans initially kept their team head above water (17-19, 34th), before taking a three-goal lead (23-20, 44th).
Desbonnet (12 saves in the end) finished disgusting the German shooters and definitively assured the victory of the Blues with two consecutive parades five minutes from the end (30-25).
To triumph over the German youth, the nugget Juri Knorr in the lead (5/10), coach Guillaume Gille and his team were also able to count on another usual replacement, Melvyn Richardson (4/6). The son of former “Barjot” Jackson Richardson successfully replaced his teammate Dika Mem in the first period, in check (3/7 in the end).
Before the show Desbonnet sending in the last four, in Stockholm, the Blues who will need their entire workforce to defeat the Swedes in front of their public. The Olympic champions will also need a great goalkeeper, as against the Germans.