Despite the corona uncertainty, Austria’s national women’s handball team has successfully started the World Cup in Spain. The 38:27 (22:13) against China was a clear thing, with the victory in the first World Cup appearance in twelve years, the ÖHB selection already made a big step towards the main round. Shortly before the kick-off, the next bad news came in.
According to team boss Herbert Müller, four regular players, goalkeeper Petra Blazek, Sonja Frey, Stefanie Kaiser and Nina Neidhart, tested positive for the corona virus. It was decided, with the approval of the world federation, to play with 12 instead of 16 players and the major tournament against the Asian World Cup strangers opened without too much coordination problems.
After a balanced and scoring initial phase (6: 6), Red-White-Red got better and better. Goalkeeper Lena Ivancok gave the necessary support with important saves and the front was shone with efficiency. At 10:13 p.m. it went into the cabin for an online “call” with Herbert Müller, who announced his half-time couch analysis a little later on ORF. “I’m absolutely thrilled. The team does an excellent job and plays for everyone who can’t be there, ”said Müller. He was represented by his brother Helfried Müller, who sat on the bench with sports director Patrick Fölser.