All-Spanish clash for VELUX EHF Champions League FinalArticle
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F.C. Barcelona Borges defeat Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Renovalia Ciudad Real beat HSV Hamburg to decide who will be the crowned the Spanish Kings of Europe.

»EHF CL Channel »2010-11 Men's News

All-Spanish clash for VELUX EHF Champions League Final

F.C. Barcelona Borges defeat Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Renovalia Ciudad Real beat HSV Hamburg to decide who will be the crowned the Spanish Kings of Europe.

Sunday is set to be a Spanish cracker in Colgone as F.C. Barcelona Borges play Renovalia Ciudad Real for the right to be called VELUX EHF Champions League 2010/2011 champions.

Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs. F.C. Barcelona Borges (ESP) 28:30 (12:12)

Following a spectacular opening ceremony, the first semi-final saw a great team performance from F.C. Barcelona Borges with the individual class of goalkeeper Danijel Saric, who made 19 saves, paving the way for the Catalans success.

By beating German rivals Rhein-Neckar Löwen 30:28 (12:12) the Spaniards reached their tenth EHF Champions League Final in their club history and the players danced on court just like they did after the first semi-final of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2010.

Even as the victory was on the edge it was a well-deserved one, as F.C. Barcelona Borge had more tactical and individual ideas than their German opponents.

In their first ever appearance at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 the “Lions” fought brave, but a weak period in second half decided the match against them.

Top scorers were Uwe Gensheimer (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), who scored six times and extended his lead in the VELUX EHF Champions League top scorer’s list to 114 goals, whilst Siarhei Rutenka and Juanin Garcia scored five times each for the Catalans.

Rhein-Neckar Löwen were asleep in the opening minutes of the match, as the Catalans seemed to score with every shot against an unorganized Löwen defence.

After eight minutes the score was 4:0 for the Spanish champions, first then the Germans found their pace and improved, at least in defence while the number of mistakes in attack was still high.

Thanks to some saves of goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal and the support of their yellow dressed fans, Löwen came back into the match, but still Barca goalkeeper Danijel Saric stood in their way.

Despite their great start and their patience in attack, the Catalans could not continue like they had started and three minutes before the half time whistle, Löwen had equalised for the first time to go in completely equal at the break at 12:12, with the number of goalkeeper saves at 8:8 and the number of suspensions at 4:4.

Two excellent defensive sides neutralised each other, as the tension and the atmosphere rose to first heights in the middle of the second half.

Whilst Löwen goalkeeper Szmal had to be treated outside the field after an injury, Barcelona took the profit of this hectic situation and again extended the gap to three goals to 23:20 in the 48th minute and then to 25:20 after Uwe Gensheimer failed with a penalty shot against goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez.

After a 5:0 series of strikes against their opponents the Catalans started the final 10 minutes with a five goal margin which muffled the roar of the Löwen spectators.

As the Catalans rotated their whole squad, the Löwen key players lacked power and concentration, but still were in reach to turn the match when Gensheimer scored his sixth goal to make it 27:25 to F.C. Barcelona Borges in the 24th minute and on their way to a place in the final with a result of 30:27.

Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP) vs. HSV Hamburg (GER) 28:23 (12:10)

The second semi-final of the day saw HSV Hamburg continue their losing streak against Real, losing 28:23 and 2011 can now be added to the years of defeat which include 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Top scorers were Alberto Entrerrios with six goals for Real and Hans Lindberg with five goals for the Germans.

Both teams made a surprisingly high number of mistakes, especially unforced errors, in attack in the first half and like the first semi-final, this game was a real defensive battle from both sides.

Renovalia Ciudad Real went into the break two goals up at 12:10 as HSV Hamburg lacked ideas in offence and it took only seven minutes before Renovalia Ciudad Real widened the gap to 19:13 thanks to some impressive counter attacks. Hamburg seemed to be in lethargy, but woke up, before it was too late.

Energized by saves of goalkeeper Johannes Bitter and goals of the right wings Stefan Schröder and Hans Lindberg, they reduced to three goals (22:19) exactly at the middle of second half.

And when Bitter saved the first of five penalty shots of Kiril Lazarow at the score of 22:20 in minute 48 the crowd went crazy as the match seem to turn completely.

Dujshebaew took his time-out as with the score at 24:21 to Real, Hamburg suffereda set-back as Blazenko Lackovic got injured.

HSV Hamburg played the last moments in full attacking mode, bringing on a seventh field player to replace goalkeeper Bitter, but they lost the ball twice and Real ran out comfortable 28:23 winners.

Tomorrow (Sunday) will be an all-German 3/4 Placement Match between HSV Hamburg and Rhein-Neckar Löwen at 15:15 (local time) and an all Spanish final between F.C. Barcelona Borges and Renovalia Ciudad Real at 18:00 (local time) - the thirteenth time in history a Spanish team will be crowned winners of the EHF Champions League.


Semi-Final 1
Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs. F.C. Barcelona Borges (ESP) 28:30 (12:12)

Semi-Final 2
Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP) vs. HSV Hamburg (GER) 28:23 (12:10)


3/4 Placement Match
Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs. HSV Hamburg (GER)

F.C. Barcelona Borges (ESP) vs. Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP)