Solid defense and fluid transitional play lifted Germany above Poland to win the bronze medal in men’s handball. 

In a very tense first half, the bronze medal match was waiting for one of these two sides to make the first move and stretch ahead. 

It was Mateusz Jachlewski who first made the move, poaching from the wing and scoring off an assist by Karol Bielecki. Poland quickly capitalized on the momentum provided by Jachlewski and moved three goals ahead of Germany. 

Germany quickly countered, going on a 4-0 run themselves to inch back ahead of Poland. Paul Drux posed serious problems for Poland on the top of the perimeter, forcing his way through that Polish defense to give Germany the advantage. Germany scored four goals on fast breaks in the first half. 

They continued to pick up on the momentum that Drux established and, after trailing 5-8, Germany led Poland 12-9 after capitalizing on the fast breaks and Polish turnovers. 

With Patrick Wiencek – one of the best defenders in the men’s handball competition – in the center, Poland struggled to push through the top of the arch. Poland scored on only three attempts from the nine meter mark out of 10. 

Germany continued to apply the pressure in the second half. Andreas Wolff’s performace in the goal gave further frustrations for the Poles, who continued to be punished from the fast break. Soon, Germany seemed to be on cruise control and quickly pull away from Poland in the early stages of the second half. 
Germany went on a sudden cold streak, though, going seven minutes without scoring a goal. Poland couldn’t quite get back into it, though, and Bielecki was particularly frustrated by the solid German back line. 
A sliver of hope presented itself to Poland, who were down by four goals in the final four minutes, but it was quickly dashed after Uwe Gensheimer was given plenty of space to reopen the lead to five goals. Poland lost possession on the ensuing play. Again it was Wiencek who was dominant in the center of the perimeter, and his effort from that possession is a huge reason why Germany took home the bronze. 
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