France 2017: Germany power past Saudi Arabia to reach last 16 | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 17.01.2017
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France 2017: Germany power past Saudi Arabia to reach last 16

The European champions reached the knockout stages of the men's World Handball Championship with two matches to spare. They easily defeated the Saudis 38-24 in France.

Steffen Fäth was the standout player for the Germans with six goals as they cantered into the last 16 in France.

The Saudis, seen as one of the weakest teams in the competition, had made a bright start but the Germans quickly imposed themselves and were 21-13 up at the break.

Germany were quicker, stronger and more creative than their opponents in front of 3,700 fans in Rouen but were never seriously tested.

"It was difficult for us to keep our concentration," said coach Dagur Sigurdsson.

"We have to try to get our competition rhythm back."

There was one moment of angst for Germany when goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, widely regarded as one of the best in the world, slumped to his knees after a save and was left limping.

However, the coach played down the extent of the injury.

"I think it is just a knock. Hopefully he will be fine."

They next face Belarus on Wednesday and Group C rivals Croatia on Friday. Top spot in the group is now up for grabs and is important for the seeding in the knockout phase.

Germany are currently first with six points and three wins from three having also dispatched Hungary and Chile earlier in the tournament. But Croatia are also on six points and are always dangerous opponents.

In other results on Tuesday, holders and hosts France got past Russia 35-24, Norway beat Brazil 39-26, Poland defeated Japan 26-25, Slovenia drew with Tunisia 28-28, Iceland beat Angola 33-19 and Qatar outdid Argentina 21-17.

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