Solid defense and fluid transitional play lifted Germany above Poland to win the bronze medal in men’s handball.
In a very tense first half, the bronze medal match was waiting for one of these two sides to make the first move and stretch ahead.
It was Mateusz Jachlewski who first made the move, poaching from the wing and scoring off an assist by Karol Bielecki. Poland quickly capitalized on the momentum provided by Jachlewski and moved three goals ahead of Germany.
Germany quickly countered, going on a 4-0 run themselves to inch back ahead of Poland. Paul Drux posed serious problems for Poland on the top of the perimeter, forcing his way through that Polish defense to give Germany the advantage. Germany scored four goals on fast breaks in the first half.
They continued to pick up on the momentum that Drux established and, after trailing 5-8, Germany led Poland 12-9 after capitalizing on the fast breaks and Polish turnovers.
With Patrick Wiencek – one of the best defenders in the men’s handball competition – in the center, Poland struggled to push through the top of the arch. Poland scored on only three attempts from the nine meter mark out of 10.