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Sports

German handball team trip up against Tunisia

Germany's handballers have stumbled in their World Cup campaign in Spain, losing 23-25 to Tunisia. The result follows an opening match victory for the German side, who still have an eye on the quarterfinals.

Germany's leftwing Dominik Klein reacts during the 23rd Men's Handball World Championships preliminary round Group A match Tunisia vs Germany at the Palacio de los Deportes de Granollers on January 13, 2013. Tunisia won 25-23. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Handball WM 2013 Deutschland Tunesien

It was Germany's first loss Sunday to the African champions in ten matches, and an unwelcome slip in their quest for a hotly-contested quarterfinal spot.

A hard-fought game developed before the crowd of 4,200 in Granollers, but the Germans were unable to gain the upper hand defensively and squandered numerous chances in attack.

Sven-Sören Christophersen did prove effective for Germany, scoring seven, but that could not prevent his side suffering their first defeat of the competition.

Tunisia's Wael Jallouz, on his way to German handball side THW Kiel next season, was particularly devastating with his shots from distance.

"We couldn't get control over the Tunisians in defense and going forward we let too many chances pass us by," said Christopherson "When you add it up, it's not enough."

Coach Martin Heuberger was not too hard on his side. "We were a little bit unlucky," he said. "The team played very well, but we conceded too many goals from distance. I am proud of the team though, they have great heart."

The squad is without three key players - Uwe Gensheimer, Holger Glandorf and Lars Kaufmann - and has seven World Cup debutants. The side's stated goal is to reach the quarterfinals at least.

The team is also set to take on Argentina and Montenegro in the preliminary round, as well as champions France.

rc/dr (dpa, SID)