Outstanding HombradosArticle
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Ciudad Real win in Hamburg thanks to a brilliant goalkeeper performance and to better alternatives on the bench.

Outstanding Hombrados

It was the same as in April, but even more clear: Ciudad Real won again in the Color Line Arena of Hamburg. The 32:26 on Wednesday evening was well-deserved for the title holders. The match winner was the outstanding goalkeeper Jose Hombrados who made 25 saves. The best scorers were Hans Lindbergh (7/3) for HSV and Joan Canellas (6) for Ciudad Real.

“Hombrados played a sensational match”, HSV player Marcin Lijewski admitted. His coach Martin Schwalb said that his team made too many mistakes in the attack: “You can’t beat Ciudad Real by playing this way. We have to learn a lot for the return game. Ciudad scored a lot of easy goals and punished our mistakes directly.”

Ciudad real coach Talant Dujshebaev was highly satisfied: “Hamburg are one of the best teams in the world and I’m very glad about this victory. The key to success was our strong defence and our outstanding goalkeeper.”

Even the first halftime was imprinted by Ciudad goalkeeper Jose Hombrados. His 13 saves in 30 minutes gave his team the security and brought them to a quite comfortable lead. Hamburg tried everything, but in the decisive moments Hombrados was there, even as Guillaume Gille scored four times in the first halftime.

Ciudad was dominant, even as they had more suspensions than Hamburg. At the attendance of German national coach Heiner Brand, Hamburg missed too many chances, as Ciudad was more efficient, specially in the first 25 minutes and specially by their counter attacks – but the Germans had to replace the injured key players Bertrand Gille and Pascal Hens due to injuries.

Ciudad increased the gap from 6:4 in minute 12 to 14:9 (25.), but in the final stage of halftime one HSV came closer again by three consecutive goals, after Per Sandström replaced goalkeeperJohannes Bitter. Aside Hombrados young center back Jose Canellas played a good role for Ciudad in leading the match.

But as Hombrados was still in outstanding form, nervous HSV couldn’t come closer right after the break – in contrast: Ciudad Real, having much more and better alternatives on the bench (14 to 10 field players), again went in lead with a five goal difference in minutes 35 (18:13) and increased this gap by counter attacks to 20:13 (38.). HSV coach Martin Schwalb had to take an early timeout to bring his team back to life.

But even this measure couldn’t bring more concentration and cleverness to Hamburg in the very next minutes, as the rate of mistakes still was high – until Blazenko Lackovic stroke back with two goals in 40 seconds and reduced the difference to five goals. The more than 7340 spectators went crazy, as HSV showed their fighting spirit and powerful matchplay again. Lindbergh and Lijewski were the ones to shorten the gap again to only two goals in minute 48 (21:23). Ciudad- with a rising number of mistakes in the offence - changed their defence system to a more offensive style, but Hamburg was better now due to their counter attacks and greater efficiency than in the first 40 minutes.

Everybody in the Color Line Arena expected the complete turning point in the final stage of the match, but this short distance was the real wake up call for the current title holder. By scoring five goals in a row in only four minutes Ciudad pre decided the match in minute 50 at the score of 27:21, specially as Hombrados returned to his great form and the counter attacks hit Hamburg right into their hearts. “We had the chance to equalize, but in this stage, we made an enormous number of mistakes”, HSV player Torsten Jansen said.

As Canellas scored the 30:23 (56.) by his sixth goal, it was obvíous that Ciudad Real again had taken both points from Hamburg after the semifinal in April this year, even as Hamburg came closer a little bit in the very end.

TEXT: Björn Pazen