Four matches, four victoriesArticle
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Round 2 in the first group phase was a pleasant one for the German teams. Read our summary on the victories of Hamburg, Gummersbach and Kiel.

Four matches, four victories

Round 2 in the first group phase was a pleasant one for the German teams. Apart from the victory of SG Flensburg (see separate article), the German trio of THW Kiel, VfL Gummersbach and HSV Hamburg confirmed their first places after two victories from the first two matches. gives a summary of these three matches.

Chechovski Medvedi – HSV Hamburg 26:29 (11:15)

HSV needed a miracle to win in RussiaAnother strong performance in an away match – Hamburg passed the highest hurdle in their group. “We were the better team, it was especially clear in the first halftime,” said German national player, Pascal Hens. He added: “After the break we started badly, but we found our way back. The way we stood up makes me feel very proud.”

The 3,500 spectators in the sold-out hall “Olympiski” saw a very strong start from the German runner-up. Especially the defence and the two goalkeepers, Per Sandstöm and Johannes Bitter, made a great job. After 7:7, Hamburg dominated the match and went on to lead 15:11 at halftime and 17:11 two minutes in the second half.

The referees sent out Yoon and Gille at this point and Chechovski were able to turn the game. Hamburg could not score for 13 minutes and the Russian champions were in the lead with 19:17 (44th min.). Hamburg had to be grateful for their goalkeepers that the difference was not bigger. Coach Martin Schwalb took his green card – and the time-out brought the HSV in the match again. At first Hens equalised at 21:21, then Stefan Schröder scored to make it 23:22 – the first lead again. After 29:24 scored by Toto Jansen it was clear that the HSV jumped over the hurdle. Now HSV have the best chances to qualify as the winner of Group E.

“Our defence made a very good job, but in attack we had a lot of problems with the big Russian boys. We lost our pace in the second halftime, but we came back. I have to give credit to my team that fought back after 45 minutes. I thought my players would have been more tired as it was our fourth match in eight days,” said HSV coach, Martin Schwalb.

Chechovski’s legendary coach, Vladimir Maximov said the same about the game: “Our defence was okay, but we made too many mistakes in attack. Hamburg showed us what we have to work on now.”

VfL Gummersbach – MKB Veszprém 32:30 (18:16)

Hard work, but smiling faces at the end: VfL Gummersbach celebrate a very important victory in Group F – the second one after winning in Reykjavik.

Veszprém started very well, Gummersbach got the two points“It will be the decisive match that will tell whether we will be able to reach the second round or not,” said coach Alfred Gislasson before meeting Veszprém. Afterwards he was very glad: “We have four points now and I’m very satisfied. We did not start well, but in the second half we were able to show our best performance.”

It was really a bad start for Gummersbach. Gislasson had to call time out after only four minutes as Veszprém were leading 4:1. But the time out did not wake his team up, the fast breaks of Veszprém caused a lot of trouble for the hosts and the Hungarians went 8:4 up. Afterwards, Gummersbach found their way, the difference decreased especially in the 8 minutes when Veszprém were unable to score. VfL turned the result from a 12:14 to a 17:14. In this phase, goalkeeper Goran Stojanovic improved and started a very special and high-class duel with his counterpart, Dejan Peric in the Veszprem goal, the best player on court.

However, pivot Robert Gunnarsson and winger Roman Pungartnik found space between Peric and the net and Gummersbach went into halftime with a 18:16 lead. Veszprém, especially the Iváncsik brothers, were not willing to leave the points in Germany and the second half was full of tension and high quality handball.

After the 20:20 it was VfL’s time to score, and after the 28:24 (50th min.) the 2,400 spectators started to celebrate. It was too early though. An outstanding keeper, Dejan Peric, kept his team in the match, and Gergő Iváncsik scored for the 28:28. Veszprém seemed to reach their target, but the Greek player, Alex Alvanos, scored crucial goals in the 58th minute. Alvanos was the match winner with his two goals in the very last minutes.

“I’m very disappointed that we lost,” said Veszprém’s coach, Lajos Mocsai, who was coach of Gummersbach two years ago. ”We have a lot of young players and they have to endure the pressure in the Champions League. We had difficulties especially in attack. Our performance was good, the result not, but we will meet again in Veszprém.”

Alfred Gislasson was very satisfied, on the other side. His team had lost three important matches in the Bundesliga in the Kölnarena before: “It was a top match and my team played well. I think we have a chance to go through this round, as Veszprem are the strongest opponents in our group.”

THW Kiel - Hammarby IF: 37:28 (17:13)

Three players were responsible for the second victory of THW Kiel in Group B: the outstanding goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer, the returning Viktor Szilágyi and pivot, Markus Ahlm. They scored ten goals each.

Andersson will be out after an unfortunate incidentHowever, THW could not be satisfied, after losing their backcourt player, Kim Andersson. The Swedish will miss the next weeks with a serious injury.

10,250 spectators have seen the game in the sold-out Ostseehalle. They gave a warm welcome to one of the most successful players ever of Kiel: Staffan Olsson. The former Swedish national player is the coach of Hammarby today.

After nine minutes of play the shock came: Kim Andersson clashed with Tobias Karlsson and had to leave the court. As the Kiel doctors say, in “best case” it is a torn ligament. Andersson will miss the next weeks for sure.

After that the whole team was in a state of shock with one exception: Thierry Omeyer. The French saved 17 shots in the first 30 minutes. Until 11:11 Hammarby played well, but then the Viktor Szilágyi show started. He scored to make it 13:11 and 14:11, then he gave a great assist to Dominik Klein and then he scored again for 17:12 – a great individual effort by the Austrian national player who had missed the last six months due to a knee injury.

After the break it was the same: Szilágyi and Ahlm were dominant. Eight minutes after halftime it was clear that Kiel would celebrate the second victory in their second match. At the end it was 37:28, but now THW have to play on Thursday again against the Romanian champions Constanta without five key players. 

TEXT: Björn Pazen