Playing away is a good omenArticle
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Leipzig´s goalkeeper Katja Schülke hopes for a happy ending in Vienna.

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Playing away is a good omen

It’s the same situation as last season: HC Leipzig’s fate lies in its own hands in the last round of the Group Phase of the Women’s Champions League. In 2009, they needed to beat Trondheim on home ground, which they achieved, and this year, at least one point is needed from the away match at Hypo Niederösterreich.

Goalkeeper Katja Schülke is optimistic that the German Champion will go on to the Main Round for the second straight time, as they have won all their away matches up to now. Is it a good omen to have the decisive match away?

Katja Schülke: It’s really unusual in the Champions League, but that’s right: it is a good omen to have this game in Vienna. Normally you take your points on home ground, but this season we started our winning ways in our away matches. It would be a great result to have won all three away matches in this group. So, we’ll be going there to win! The first match against Hypo Niederösterreich ended with a defeat on home ground. Was this your worst performance in the current CL season?

Katja Schülke: Yes, it was. We watched the video of the game again – and we could see that everything went wrong. We made a huge number of mistakes. We frivolously gave away two points from our hands which might have been our opening to the Main Round. We were to blame for this bad result, as we could have qualified already, but now we have to turn the page. Is it good to remember that Leipzig managed to overcome the same hurdle last season in the last match against Trondheim?

Katja Schülke: It was the same situation, even though it was a home match, but it’s not a big disadvantage for us to play in Vienna this year. I’m hoping some fans will join us there. I believe that Hypo is under more pressure than Leipzig, although many people believe the pressure is on us. What does the team situation look like?

Katja Schülke: Fortunately, our line-player Anne Müller is able to play again. Even if she’s only on-court for a few minutes, she’ll be very important for us. During the current season, the defence has been the key to your success in CL matches, but maybe it ‘misfired’ a little last weekend?

Katja Schülke: Our defence has been our foundation for success for many years. Therefore the match against Itxako last weekend was terribly disappointing, as we conceded 20 goals in 30 minutes – which was more than in the full 60 minutes against Debrecen.

We have to improve, not only because of the number of goals conceded, but because we want to use our most potent weapon, the counter-attack. You can only play fast handball if the defence gets possession of the ball. When we lost against Hypo on home ground, our defence was weak and the number of counter-attack goals was low. This must change on Saturday! What would it mean to you to reach the Main Round again?

Katja Schülke: It would be a great pleasure to be among the best eight teams in Europe again. I’m very optimistic that we can reach our goal, because we have lots of self- confidence and self-belief. We know the situation, and must rise to the occasion after losing on home ground.

The EHF Women's Champions League game of Group B, Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) vs. HC Leipzig (GER) on Saturday 20 November 2010 at 20:25 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on

TEXT: Björn Pazen