Füchse make the wonder happenArticle
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Berlin catch-up eleven goal backlog against Ademar Leon and qualify for the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

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Füchse make the wonder happen

It is a wonder, a miracle, a sensation: Füchse Berlin have made their way to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 despite losing the first leg at Ademar Leon one week ago 23:34. But on home ground and thanks to a world class performance of goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter the Germans won the second leg in another Hitchcock thriller 29:18 (13:6) and are through to Cologne thanks to the bigger number of away goals.

After AG Kobenhavn and Atletico Madrid, Füchse Berlin are the third participant of the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

VELUX EHF Champions League Quarter-final, second leg:

Füchse Berlin (GER) vs. Reale Ademar Leon (ESP) 29:18 (13:6)

First leg: 23:34

Berlin shocked their opponent from the first second by missing out the goalkeeper in attack, replacing him by a seventh field player. And from the first second on the impressive and fantastic crowd in the sold-out Max-Schmeling-Halle stood as one behind their team.

Leon was classes weaker in defence and attack compared to the first leg – and thy failed most of the time in the first half against the best player on the field, goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter. By a saving percentage of 73 percent in the first 30 minutes Heinevetter made the spectators crazy and Leon got paralysed.

The Spaniards only scored four goals in 26 minutes and even at this time – when the score was 11:4 thanks to the fourth goal of Spanish Füchse player Iker Romero – the distance could have been those eleven goals the Germans needed. But they missed so many 100 per cent chances against again brilliant Ademar goalkeeper Vicente Alamo, who was the eye of the tornado in a weak defence. At the break the distance were still seven goals with Ademar only hitting the back of the net six (!) times.

After only four more minutes Berlin had extended the gap to nine goals at 16:7 – but still failed too often to reach the eleven goal margin earlier – like Sven-Sören Christopherssen, who needed nine attempts for only two goals at this time. On the other hand Icelandic Alexander Petterson played the match of his life despite a shoulder injury. Leon was strong only from the pivot position with Baena and Andreu, but lacked ideas in the position attack.

With a still extra-terrestrial Heinevetter between the goal bars, Berlin cracked the mark in minute 42, when a double strike of Romero and Nincevic brought the 21:10 – for the first time Berlin had booked their virtual ticket to Cologne and caused a time-out of Leon coach Isidoro Martinez. 

The Spaniards were close to resign completely, whilst the Berlin Wall was built up again by the Füchse defence. But exactly after the distance was twelve goals at 22:10, Leon saw their chances by changing their defence system to a more offensive version – and they caused easy mistakes on the Berlin side.

The Spaniards took the profit to score three times in a row and were back in Cologne at this moment. In this period Leon scored only by counter attacks – and those easy goals were hurting Füchse like pinholes. But they still had Heinevetter – and his saves were transformed into goals. At 26:15 in minute 50 Berlin again was in Cologne. But Leon now was awake in defence, reducing the gap intermediately to nine goals.

Two minutes before the final whistle a double strike of Petterson (his ninth goal) and Laen brought back the eleven goal margin for Füchse at 29:18. With a one man disadvantage in the final two minutes Berlin was still lucky to have Heinevetter. 60 seconds before the final buzzer, Berlin lost the ball, but Leon caused an offensive foul in attack. Füchse were through, the rest was celebration! Like in 2004, when failing against Celje, a huge margin from the first leg of a EHF VELUX Champions League match was not enough for Leon.

TEXT: Björn Pazen