Tears of frustration, tears of joyArticle
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The reactions of both sides after an emotional CL final in Wiener Neustadt that ended with Russian celebrations.

Tears of frustration, tears of joy

Faces showed great disappointment as tears were running all over the Arena Nova in Wiener Neustadt. Hypo were so close but at the end the trophy was raised by the Russian champion Zvezda Zvenigorod.

The Hypo players were exhausted and disappointedHalf an hour after the ceremony Tímea Tóth was still crying while fans put a crown on her head. She was not able to smile anyway…

A lot of Hungarian fans arrived to support their stars, Tóth, Erika Kirsner and coach András Németh. Even supporters of Slovenian champion Krim Ljubljana came to see Hypo win the Champions League again. But after the 24:25 in the first leg Hypo didn’t take the chance and lost 29:31 at home.

Coach András Németh couldn’t believe his eyes. At the press conference he was sitting with a pale face and couldn’t say much. An hour after the match he was still discussing with Hungarian journalists about the defeat.

And in midst of this “sea of tears” Hypo goalkeeper Sabine Englert was sitting on the bench, staring in the air. For her the match against Zvezda was Deja-Vu. Exactly 371 days earlier she had the same emotions when she was sitting near the goalpost unable to say a word after her former German club, Bayer Leverkusen, lost the decisive second leg of Germany’s league final against Nürnberg in the very last minutes.

“I’m so disappointed. I came to Hypo to win titles, to win this special Champions League title. We had a great chance to win, but we lost again. I’m only second again. I can’t believe it,” Englert said.

Englert wants to strike back at the Olympic Games...On the other side there was an overflow of emotions too: some Zvezda players were also crying, but these were tears of joy. As captain Irina Poltoratskaya received the big CL trophy, all the Russian were singing and shouting. While the Hypo players were interviewed on court afterwards, loud singing was heard from the Zvezda locker room.

But one important man was missing from the podium during the winner’s ceremony: coach Evgeni Trefilov. As usual – as it is also the case for Kiel’s coach Noka Serdarusic – Trefilov didn’t like to stand in the focus. He went to the cabin, had some deep breaths and some minutes of silence. But for him the Champions League title meant something special: his personal series of club competitions trophies is now completed.

In the last six years he won the Cup Winners’ Cup (2002 with Lada Togliatti), the EHF cup (2007 with Zvezda) and now the “king’s class” with Zvezda. Looking at the last seven years he also had won additionally six Russian titles (five with Lada, one with Zvezda), three World championships with Russia, one Silver medal at the EURO 2006 and a Bronze medal at the EURO 2002 with Russia.

Tremendous joy on the Russian sideThe only medal missing would be an Olympic gold, but he will have a chance now as Russia are among the favourites in Beijing.

Hypo’s goalkeeper, Sabine Englert, wants to take revenge now:

“My great dream is to beat Russia in the final of the Olympic Games in Beijing – and not to be second again.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen