Handball World Cup: Team France still in contention against Montenegro

And four! The players of the French national team are used to leaving nothing to their opponents in the continuation of their previous results. After Poland, Saudi Arabia and Slovenia in the preliminary stage, it was Montenegro’s turn to suffer the Olympic champions’ law (35-24) at the end of the meeting, which was still clearly dominated by Guillaume Gille’s workforce without Dika Mem. Vincent Gérard and Melvyn Richardson distinguished themselves.

Having now played all their matches in Krakow this round, the Blues are still close to making another quarter-final in a major competition, but nothing is certain yet. After Iran on Friday, it will only be official, and the shock against Spain on Sunday promises already.

Because of their favorite status, nothing more than a win against Montenegro was required. Of all the countries that made up the former Yugoslavia, this tiny nation was sandwiched between Bosnia, Serbia and Albania, and it’s not the most closed nation in history. handball. While Spain struggled to win (30-25), the Montenegrins also faced all the difficulties to get rid of Iran (34-31) and a very modest Chile (35-33). There have been only two previous meetings between France and today’s opponent, during the 2013 World Cup (32-20 victory for the Blues) and last year’s Euros (36-27).

Guillaume Gille managed to escape

Everyone knows: there is no result without a good defense. The first Frenchman to stand out is Vincent Gérard. The often-criticized former goalkeeper of PSG, who will move to the German club “Kil” next year, is always with him in the big moments. At a quarter of an hour, he stops almost all of Montenegro’s attempts, including two shots from 7 meters. The result: France leads by four goals (9-5, 18th place) and manages to protect it despite a lot of clumsiness in attack. Things are going very well at halftime for Nikola Karabatic and his teammates, including the excellent Melvin Richardson (4 goals) (16-13).

What happens next doesn’t change anything. Guillaume Gille decides to change manpower for an opportunity to raise the score (27-18, 47) for Dylan Nahi and Elohim Prandi. Storm Gerard is still as destructive as in his cage, Richardson continues his punishments and continues his festival (10 achievements in total) and Nicolas Tournat brings his stone to the very solid building erected by Guillaume Gille and his staff. Rémi Desbonnet, who came on for Vincent Gerrard at the end of the game in the last quarter of the hour, even went there with a small goal in the empty cage of Montenegro.

At the end of the match, Guillaume Gille said in front of the microphone of BeIN sports: “We have a first half where we dominated the debates, but a little lightness in the finish prevents us from flying towards the score. There was a bit of nervousness to be in a tight game when all the lights were green. We were able to review a good lineup, which is a great satisfaction in this main round. “For Vincent Gérard, “even if we could have done better in the first half, it is satisfying to finish with such a gap. In terms of content, there are quite a few mistakes in the first act. It’s nice to have a strong restart. »

If France is not yet mathematically in the neighborhood, we don’t see how it could be otherwise. In a group where only the top two will see the rest of the competition, they are currently tied with Slovenia (only the two best results are taken into account in the preliminary stage, and the two teams beat Saudi Arabia. Arabia).

Besides, third-placed Spain will stand in the way of the Slovenians this Friday afternoon (15:30) and should logically win, while the Blues will have no trouble taming Iran (18:00). Therefore, everything will be decided against the Iberians on Sunday (at 20:30), especially to determine who will be the opponent in the quarter-finals next Wednesday. The real lesson to be taken from this first match is that, above all, France will not stop progressing as usual. Enough to attack the last week with envy.

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