The decisive French goalkeeper in the second half, the absence of Nikola Karabatic during this same second act… Everything you need to remember from the victory of the Blues over Germany (35-28) in the quarter-finals.
Andreas Wolff delayed the deadline for a long time
With 36% of stops before this quarter-final, Andreas Wolff was among the best last ramparts of this World Cup. Most French players had also praised his qualities. Unfortunately, even warned of the danger, France could only see the impressive efficiency of the Kielce goalkeeper. In particular during a first act completed with 9 stops on the clock, including an absolutely exceptional parade on Dika Mem at close range at the end of the counter-attack. In the end, the German goalkeeper finished with 16 saves at 33%. Impeccable, but overshadowed by another doorman…
Rémi Desbonnet, the unexpected hero
Since the start of the competition, the Montpellier goalkeeper had hardly had the opportunity to show off behind an excellent Vincent Gerard. But this Wednesday, after thirteen minutes of play and no stoppage from his teammate, Rémi Desbonnet was launched by Guillaume Gille into battle. Without impact at first, even if he made three saves before the break. But what about his second act, exceptional with 11 stops at nearly 50% success. Enough to restart the machine and allow the Blues to punch their ticket for the half (35-28). Right in the middle of this second period, the French goalkeeper was even going to offer himself a series of six consecutive stops to completely reverse the trend. Great art. France knew they had a great goalkeeper. Now she has learned that she has two.
The incredible depth of the French workforce
What other team in the world could have overthrown Germany in this way, with so many absent? Imagine, even before the start of the competition, Guillaume Gille had to deal with the packages of Karl Konan, Hugo Descat, Benoît Kounkoud, Wesley Pardin, Aymeric Minne, Timothey N’Guessan or Kylian Villeminot. A real seven down. And since the World Cup began, the coach has not been spared by small glitches, whether it’s Dika Mem’s abs, Nikola Karabatic’s left foot or the right hand of Thibaud Briet just before this quarter-final. Finally, in the second half on Wednesday, Gille had to do without Nikola Karabatic, while leaving Vincent Gérard on the bench. However, France is still there. With this ability to always regenerate and find new talents to stay at the top.
The concern around Nikola Karabatic
What if the satisfaction of seeing him back was only short-lived? After missing the last two main round matches against Iran and Spain, Nikola Karabatic made his comeback in this quarter-final. To score a goal (on four shots) and deliver five assists in 19 minutes of play. All in the first period since the last of the Experts did not reappear during the second act, never removing his tracksuit top. Something to legitimately worry about for a 38-year-old player because given the score in the first fifteen minutes of the second act, it seems unlikely that Guillaume Gille did without him voluntarily.
German bullet losses
A crippling balance. With 16 assists and… 16 ball losses, Germany especially spoiled during this quarter-final. Especially in the first period when she found the way to the French net on each of her first twelve shots. Without managing to fly completely on the scoreboard, the fault of too many balloons lost in passing, offering more ammunition to the French. Who then needed it in the face of an Andreas Wolff who was undoubtedly very frustrated with this unwelcome “generosity” from his partners…
Elohim Prandi, half-convincing
While his ankle had turned in the last minute of the match against Spain on Sunday, raising fears of his withdrawal for the end of the World Cup, Elohim Prandi was present on the field this Wednesday. But despite 38 minutes of play, the Parisian failed to score a single goal, failing four times. Failures compensated by five assists. Nevertheless, on several occasions, the left-back appeared a bit lost, lacking in confidence. On a position where Nikola Karabatic and Thibaud Briet could miss in the semi-finals, Prandi must absolutely raise his voice and evolve at the level which has been his at PSG since the start of the season.