Hamburg qualify, Flensburg closer to Main RoundArticle
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German to teams had to suffer against very equal opponents. Medvedi took a point from Hamburg, while Drammen were near to surprise in Flensburg.

Hamburg qualify, Flensburg close to Main Round

On Tuesday HSV Hamburg have beaten Kiel in the Ostseehalle, on Saturday they reached qualification in Group E. In front of 3,158 supporters in the Alsterdorfer Sports Hall, the German side made a 32:32 (16:16) draw against Chehovskie Medvedi – thanks to a long range shot of Guillaume Gille in the last seconds. The hosts did not play so brilliantly as they did in the last games, though.

Gille secured the draw for HSV at the end“The match in Kiel was surely in the legs of the players,” said HSV’s goalkeeper, Johannes Bitter. “Some were not on top, so we can be satisfied with a point.”

The game only promised a secure Hamburg victory at 11:7 (18th minute). Medvedi coach, Vladimir Maximov, called a time out. Afterwards the 5:1 defence caused a lot of problems for the hosts. Timur Dibirov showed a couple of spectacular shots, Konstantin Igropulo scored 11 goals, and goalkeeper Alexey Kostygov saved three 7-m shots.

It was 26:29 (49th minute) already when an away victory seemed probable, but HSV got the lead back at 31:29 (55th min). 20 seconds before the end Vasily Filippov scored to make it 31:32, but Guillaume Gille saved Hamburg at the end.

Vladimir Maximov was satisfied, but he was angry about the eight 2-minute suspensions: “We worked hard to score with one man down. Now we must work on how we can avoid getting suspensions.”

Flensburg win battle

SG Flensburg-Handewitt also made a step towards qualification with a 30:28 (14:16) success against Drammen HK in Group G. The hosts were much better only until 9:3. Than the game came to a turning point, the coach of Drammen, Ole Gustav Gjekstad, changed from a 6:0 defence to a 5:1 formation and it was enough and Flensburg lost their plot. Drammen were very active in this period and they used the mistakes of the hosts without mercy and had many fast breaks.

“Drammen played an outstanding team handball,“ admitted Flensburg’s coach, Kent-Harry Andersson. It all made the fans worried: they applauded the last goal of Glenn Solberg before halftime and booed their team a bit.

After the break the hosts came back, but the fans in the Campushalle could not lay back. Some two minutes before the end Ljubomir Vranjes broke through the Norwegian defence and made it 29:28. 45 second before the final whistle, Marcin Lijewski decided the match definitively. Drammen and Glenn Solberg on his return could only be praised.

Kent-Harry Andersson: “Glenn is still one of the best middle backs in the world. He moves the others incredibly well.“

DHK’s coach, Ole Gustav Gjekstad, had mixed emotions after the game: “I’m very satisfied with our performance but not with the result.”

TEXT: Jan Kirschner