A great step for first positionArticle
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Löwen win in Plock by 37:23 and get 12 goals ahead of Zagreb.

A great step for first position

Rhein Neckar Löwen finish the preliminary round of their first ever Champions League season unbeaten: The Germans won very clearly in Plock by 37:23 (20:9). This means that now they have the best chances to win Group H.

Schwarzer was not completely satisfied...The decision whether Löwen or Zagreb (both teams are already qualified with each 2 points after two draws against each other) will be number one, will depend on Saturday’s game when Zagreb play on home court against Szeged.

But by winning with a 14 goal difference, the advantage is on Löwen’s side with 12 goals ahead of Zagreb.

This might be very important before the main round from a German point of view: HSV Hamburg and SG Flensburg-Handewitt will finish number one of their groups, while Kiel have their fate in their own hands against Barcelona.

Accordingly, it looks quite possible that there’ll be no German-German matches in the main round as the regulations stipulate that no group winners from the same country will play in the same main round group.

On the other hand, it’s obvious that one German club will play against title holder Ciudad Real. So now we have to wait and see what the draw on Tuesday (live on ehfTV.com from 11 a.m.) will bring.

Löwen coach Wolfgang Schwenke was very satisfied after winning in Plock:

“We wanted to be the number one of the group and we in advance that we have to win with a big difference. Now we have a good base for going on as number one – even though we missed a few great chances after the break.”

Like in the Bundesliga before, Schwenke gave chance to young players such as Niklas Russ (17) and Marc Zorn.

Löwen were dominant in Poland and were leading very early by 5:1. With six minutes before the break the game was already decided at 17:6.

The closest gap to Plock could come was at 17:25 in the 41st minute, but afterwards the engine was running again.

The top scorers in this one sided match were Kuptel and Zolotenko for Plock with six goals each. Löwen winger Jan Filip scored 11 times.

“We could have won with an even bigger difference,” pivot Christian Schwarzer said. “We were not concentrated enough in second half, but I hope that this result will be enough.”

By looking at the final match of Group H, he says:

“It’s possible to lose by 12 goals in Zagreb, but I think that Szeged are experienced enough not to run straight into a disaster.”

Plock vs Rhein Neckar Löwen
Match highlights
Full match video

TEXT: Björn Pazen