Tears in HamburgArticle
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HSV reactions after the Ciudad Real match: pride, sadness and gratitude for the fans.

Tears in Hamburg

“This was the first time in my whole life that I cried after a match,” former German international, Heiko Grimm, was not the only player of HSV Hamburg to shed tears after the semi-final second leg against Ciudad Real on Friday evening that they won by 32:26. Nevertheless, one goal was missing at the end to reach the final after losing the first match by 27:34.

The game brought great emotions for the players and fansAnd the Germans really had the chance to celebrate a sensational victory together with the 13.000 spectators in the sold out Color Line Arena. Just 20 seconds before the end Guillaume Gille had a chance, but he failed against Ciudad Real’s goalkeeper Árpád Sterbik.

“We are really not angry with Guillaume,” said HSV coach, Martin Schwalb, after the match. “He made a great match, and it’s always possible to miss against such an outstanding goalkeeper.”

HSV’s number one, Johannes Bitter, agreed:

“We don’t have to look at single situations, we played very well and we were so close. I think we missed the final with the first match, not with this in Hamburg. But I’m disappointed. I think I will only be able to understand what’s happened here. All our players gave their best. We have beaten the best team in the world, but we failed to cause a real big sensation. Our fans were the greatest crowd I ever played for.”

13.000 people singing, shouting, making noise, supporting their team for 60 minutes and even after the match… World champion Pascal Hens was also deeply impressed:

13.000 of them supported HSV“I never believed that I would be in a similar situation to the final of the World Championship in Germany when 20.000 people were celebrating us. But this evening it was the same, absolutely overwhelming. This was a real big handball fight between two world class teams. I hope that we will have the chance to play Champions League next season again and that we will have the chance to play against Ciudad Real again. Then we will beat them. I hope that God will help us to reach the CL semi-final next season again.”

Coach Martin Schwalb could also only praise the team and the fans:

“Ciudad won on court, but the real winners of this match were the fans of HSV. I have been working in handball business for 26 years, but I have never seen and heard such a crowd. They were absolutely sensational. We were equal to the best team in the world, what more should I say? In some situations we weren’t lucky as you need to be to win such a decisive match. I would never blame a player for not scoring from a chance. We have a sensational team and I also hope to reach the Champions League next season again.”

Only 44 hours after the match against Ciudad Real, Hamburg took the next step in the Bundesliga to go to CL again: with the ten goals of Hans Lindbergh Hamburg won at Tusem Essen 30:26. On Wednesday there will be the next “clash of the titans” in the sold out Color Line Arena. HSV (number three in the league) will meet THW Kiel, current number one of the Bundesliga and the finalist of Champions League.

TEXT: Björn Pazen