WC: Smits comes up clutch for Germany

Germany is seen as one of the contenders for a semi-final place in the World Cup. But in the opener against Japan, the Germans were dangerously close to an unexpected point loss – but with some effort and great difficulty they were able to hold off and win 31-30 in a raucous battle.

Before the WC in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Germany and Sweden were pitted against each other in double training matches. National matches that resulted in a victory each and before the championship, many believe that it is precisely Germany that will be one of the main competitors for a Swedish place in the semi-finals.

But in Thursday’s German WC premiere, Markus Gaugisch’s team did not offer any further information on form.

Germany were pitted against Japan, who have certainly accounted for a number of strong results, and had major problems settling the match – despite being in the lead for large parts of the second half

The Germans’ inability to decide the game was also paying off when Japan tied the score at 30-30 with about 15 seconds left to play.

But with only two seconds left in the match, Xenia Smits was finally able to score the redeeming winning goal, which meant 31-30 in Germany’s favor and thus got the point-wise start that had been hoped for.

WC 30 November:

Germany–Japan 31–30 (18–17)

Netherlands–Argentina 41–26 (20–14)

Slovenia–Iceland 30–24 (16–13)

Montenegro–Cameroon 25–11 (13–2)