HSV and Chambery close to the quarterfinalsArticle
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Both clubs win their Wednesday matches and remain spotless.

HSV and Chambery close to the quarterfinals

Chambery Savoie and HSV Hamburg have made great steps towards the quarterfinals in the Champions League. Both clubs remain spotless after the second match of the main round – and they only need one point from the last two games to secure a place in the next stage.

HSV took two very important points from RussiaChambery have beaten Rhein Neckar Löwen on home court 25:23 (11:12); Hamburg won at Chechovski Medvedi by 32:30 (14:14).

Eleven goals of the Polish international Marcin Lijewski paved the way to the 8th victory for Hamburg from the eight CL games of the season.

In Chekhov, the first halftime was mostly equal with little advantages for HSV, but after 30 minutes the result was 14:14, even as the Russians were in the lead at 14:11. HSV goalkeeper Johannes Bitter showed some important saves (all together 15) in second halftime, and Lijewski scored one goal after the other, so the Germans took the lead again – and extended it to three goals twelve minutes before the end (25:22).

But Chekhov fought back for the last time, equalised at the score of 28:28, before Lijewski scored his goals number nine, ten and eleven – Hamburg decided the match with four consecutive goals (32:28).

The best scorers of Chekhov were Igropoulo und Kamanin with each six goals.

“We put up an incredible fight in the second half. Everybody could see that we really wanted these two points,” HSV coach Martin Schwalb said.

Christian Fitzek, sports director of the club added:

“Now we have an excellent basis for the last two matches.”

Chambery march on

Chambery Savoie have the same number of points on their account as Hamburg (6:0) after beating Rhein Neckar Löwen by 25:23 in a hard and physically tough match.

As the gate to quarterfinals is now wide open for the French team, the “Löwen” lost their first ever Champions League match. Even as outstanding wing player Jan Filip scored ten goals for the Germans and goalkeeper Henning Fritz showed a strong performance, Chambery players danced on the court after the final whistle.

The French stood extremely strong in their defence, and took the profit of a lot of Löwen mistakes, especially chances missed by Mariusz Jurasik and other technical mistakes.

4,600 fans made a lot of noise and supported the host for 60 minutes in a superb manner. The match was completely equal; no team could extend the lead to more than three goals. The Löwen had the better start due to eight Filip goals in the first half, but Chambery were extremely hard to play against.

Even as the French top star Daniel Narcisse was nearly eliminated by the German defence, Chambery had a lot of scoring opportunities. Until 19:19 both teams had the chance to win, but then: at first Löwen back court player Karol Bielecki received a red card after three suspension, then Filip failed to convert a penalty shot against the strong Chambery goalkeeper Dumoulin and afterwards Chambery extended their lead to 21:19.

But the Germans still had chances to share the points. Jurasik failed 15 seconds before the end at the score of 24:23.

The best scorers of Chambery were Natek, Narcisse and Joli with each four goals.

“A draw would have been a fair result. We played well, but we missed to score the easy goals in the second half,” Löwen coach Wolfgang Schwenke said. But his hopes are still alive: “We have our fate in our hands as we have now two home matches to take the points we need to qualify for the quarterfinals.”

Chambery, on the other hand, need only one point – and play against Zagreb on home court at first, before travelling to the Löwen.

TEXT: Björn Pazen