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As everything hung in the balance and the entire 60 minutes hung on just on moment - Dan Beutler took Flensburg back to a Champions League final!


A final throw that decides everything - this nail biting finish decided the final Champions League meeting in Valladolid. Roberto García Parrondo and Dan Beutler were the 7-meter duellists. The Spanish left wing was a sensation and had the chance to send the top class Spanish club into the final. But this attempt failed because of Dan Beutler's hip. The players from SG Flensburg-Handewitt stormed the court and threw their keeper in the air. "These are the moments that one becomes a goalkeeper for" beamed Dan Beutler, who puts his heroic action down to a "lucky reflex".

From the viewpoint of the Bundesliga, it was a very long way to this happy ending. Due to an injured ankle, Michael Knudsen was not able to play and the start of the match did not go according to plan. There was not too much luck in front, the SG defence with their fast throws very quickly warmed up José Manuel Sierra. As SG Flensburg were about to receive and Kaspar Nielsen about to bring the score to 7:5, the Bundesliga team made a serious error. Ljubomir Vranjes was given a suspension and he was shortly followed by Marcin Lijewski. In the majority, Valladolid took the score to 10:4 in the 18th minute.

Afterwards Valladolid, who are currently 5th in the ASOBAL league, went through a weak phase. SG Flensburg brought the score to level pegging within 7 minutes. The struggle for each goal and the balancing act for advancement were now open. It was no easy feat, intense efforts but with many technical mistakes. The works of genius, like the kempa trick that lead to 17:19, performed by Sören Stryger were the rarity. "We owe our success to the fact that some of our players went through their pain thresholds" said SG Managing Director Thorsten Storm.

With the score at 23:21 in the 56th minute, the "computerised forecasts" suggested for the last time an entry to the final for the players from Castile. Nevertheless, SG played to the very last second. "Chema" Rodriguez transformed the score 46 seconds before the end of the match to 24:25. In response the referees identified an attacking foul - Ljubomir Vranjes attacked the goalkeeper José manuel Sierra for tactical reason and was rewarded with the red card. It was in the dying seconds that Rodriguez took the fateful penalty throw.

TEXT: Jan Kirschner