German success opens Round 4Article
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Hamburg had to suffer for the victory, Kiel won by 12. The two German sides can prepare for the Main Round.

German success opens Round 4

HSV Hamburg qualify for the main round, THW Kiel can miss the next stage of the Champions League only in theory: it was a perfect Wednesday day for the German teams, as HSV and THW remain spotless after the fourth round.

Bitter points his finger at the match winner SandströmHamburg have beaten FCK Copenhagen at a close game in Group D by 29:27 (13:15). THW had no problems and won 40:28 (18:13) against Drammen.

HSV will finish the group most likely on top of the table, while THW only need one point from the last to matches to qualify. They are also through if Barcelona beat Skopje on Saturday. The match for Kiel to decide about the first position of the table will be the top duel against Barcelona on 23 November in the Sparkassen Arena.

Hamburg had to fight hard until the very last minute to beat Copenhagen for the second time this season and win the direct encounter against the Danish champion. The Germans were even behind with seven goals, but played a great final stage of the game. The match winners were goalkeeper Per Sandstöm and Torsten Jansen. The latter scored eight times.

“It was a match with hundreds of ups and downs. The result turned nearly every ten minutes. After the break we made too many mistakes but thanks to Sandström and our Danish winger Hans Lindbergh we were able to turn the page and win this very important match. Copenhagen played well and they would also have deserved the victory,” HSV coach Martin Schwalb said.

HSV missed many key players such as Pascal Hens, Oleg Velyky, Bertrand Gille and Stefan Schröder. Nevertheless, they started better (6:3), but FCK equalised and were ahead with two goals at the break. Thanks to a great goalkeeper Steinar Ege, FCK seemed to be on the winning track. The Danes were leading 23:16 in the 42nd minute and by 25:20 a few minutes later.

But then Schwalb took his “Jolly Joker”: he substituted Johannes Bitter with Per Sandström and his saves brought HSV closer and closer.

Four minutes before the final whistle Marcin Lijewski equalised (26:26) and then Jansen and Lackovic scored the decisive goals for a “last minute victory”.

FCK coach Magnus Andersson was bitterly disappointed: “We played very well, but I can’t tell you what’s happened and why we lost. In the final stage we made too many mistakes, Sandström improved and we lost our patience. We could learn a lot from this match, but right after the final whistle I feel bitter disappointment.”

In his team Rajkovic was the best scorer with seven goals.

FCK’s Arnor Atlasson tried to analyse the defeat:

“We started well after break and a top team shouldn’t lose a match from a 7-goal advantage.”

Easier for Kiel

Kiel didn't have to sufferIn contrast to HSV, THW Kiel didn’t have to suffer for the victory against Drammen. The Norwegians are still waiting for their first point.

Kiel had to replace Börge Lund and also Nikola Karabatic. The French back will be out for the next two weeks due to his permanent shoulder problems.

Only in the last 15 minutes could THW play well and win clearly by 40:28.

The best scorers were Marcus Ahlm (Kiel) and Stegavik (Drammen) with eight goals each. Christian Zeitz received an ovation for his great performance in the last 20 minutes and his six goals scored.

Kiel were leading by five goals at the break and Drammen could reduce the distance for the last time at 17:21. Then the Norwegians were not strong enough to cause a surprise. Kiel quickly decided the game a won by 12 at the end.

TEXT: Björn Pazen