A real final for LeipzigArticle
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German champions need at least a draw against Byåsen to qualify for the main round for the first time ever.

A real final for Leipzig

It’s all set up for a real final in Group A of women’s Champions League on Sunday. German champions HC Leipzig have best chances to reach the CL main round for the first time ever in their club’s history.

Leipzig players celebrating after the 20:20 against mighty Viborg HK.The situation is clear: Leipzig have five points and only need a draw to go on to the next stage. Their opponents Byåsen Trondheim have 4 points and will have to win the match in the Leipzig Arena. Podravka Koprivnica has four points, too and can’t qualify for the main round even with a victory in Viborg as they lost both direct encounters against Leipzig and Byåsen.

“The match day form will decide the race,” HCL manager Kay-Sven Hähner said in an interview with “handball-world.com”. Hähner feels confident after the victory in Koprivnica last match day: “We played strong and highly disciplined in both offence and defence. Now our fate is in our own hands.”

Leipzig, last season’s EHF Cup finalist lost the first match against Byåsen in Trondheim unluckily with the close result of 22:23.

“We slept throughout first half, and as we finally caught up, we managed to hit the post 13 times,” Hähner says. For the HCL manager “Trondheim play on the same level that we do, but they have individual world class players like Camilla Herrem, Marit Mal Frafjord or goalkeeper Grimsbö.“

The current German number one had not lost a single game in the first half of the Bundesliga season, before losing twice to Oldenburg in the league and the Supercup. So Leipzig will play with big self-esteem.

„We don’t need to hide,“ Hähner says, “We play the same speed as Byåsen. If we play like in Koprivnica, we’ll have best chances to come among the eight best club teams of the world.”

For Germany it would be the second time in CL history, after Nürnberg qualified for the main round two seasons before. Leipzig are hoping for over 4000 spectators, as more than 2000 tickets for the “final” were sold in advance.

TEXT: Björn Pazen