That’s a good habit. For the eleventh time since the beginning of this century, France is in the semi-finals of the World Championship. Even if this sport is not universal and remains essentially confined to the old continent, the performance is crazy. Since 2001, including this one, there have been 12 Worlds, a tournament that takes place every two years. The account is easy: the Blues have therefore only missed the last four once, it was just 10 years ago in 2013.
Whatever is now happening in this long and so far hardly exciting tournament, the 2023 world championship is a success. Now charge the Blues to make it a success, even a triumph that we will talk about for a long time. It will be necessary for that to pass the perilous obstacle of the semi-final against Sweden in Stockholm. At home, at the same time, the Swedes ate the Egyptians raw (26-22). If that goes well, Sunday it will then be necessary to go to challenge the winner of the other semi-final which announces itself between Denmark double world champion in title and Spain. The four best teams in the world are there, as often. France is still far from its seventh star. But it’s getting closer. And Nikola Karabatic, who played little on Wednesday, is two games away from equaling the absolute record for the number of world championship titles for a single man held by his friend Thierry Omeyer (5).
Thank you Rémi Desbonnet
Started with a big quarter of an hour late due to the double extension between the Spaniards and the Norwegians (35-34) on the same ground, this umpteenth Franco-German duel in the history of sport was bitter, tense, long undecided. We expected it. The Germans did not invent this game for nothing: they remain formidable even if it is still a team in reconstruction. With Nikola Karabatic recovered from his foot pain but without the youngster Thibaud Briet who suffered a hand injury, the Blues started by coming up against the German defense. They even took a big gap as an aperitif (6-9, 13th; 7-11; 15th). The Germans scored all their shots. The Blues fell on a wolf: goalkeeper Andreas Wolff who stopped everything for too long.
Not the best way to gain confidence and for a moment a little icy drop ran down my back. Too much largesse in defense, no success in attack: something had to be done. The Blues did it to come back to 11-11 (18th). The game was then rebalanced (16-16, 30th). After a still sluggish start to the second period, the Olympic champions finally and for the first time took a two-goal lead 20 minutes from the end (22-20, 40th). Thank you very much, yes thank you very much Rémi Desbonnet, the tricolor goalkeeper who closed up shop and had a great, huge game. “Put…, that’s good!, reacts the hero of the evening at the microphone of BeINSport. The challenge when you are a goalkeeper for the France team is to get up to the level of the guys who are in front. We got into tune little by little. »
Nothing won yet at that time but we started to breathe better. And casually, the Blues began to control (27-24, 50th) offering themselves a margin of error without money-time. Before winning, not all in control but too bad. Phew! In the fury of Stockholm against the Swedes, the Blues will have to be more constant. They will have to be better for 60 minutes from start to finish if they want to go to the final. In the meantime, they are in the semi-finals and that’s good.