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Handball: HBL: Flensburg impresses in top match

Handball: HBL: Flensburg impresses in top match


Handball: HBL: Flensburg impresses in top match

Lonely at the top with irresistible power and merciless effectiveness: The German champion SG Flensburg-Handewitt fought down the Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the top game of the Handball Bundesliga and is clearly the title favourite number one. Coach Maik Machulla’s team beat the trophy winner 27-20 (14-14) on Monday evening thanks to a strong second half and is shaking off their rivals more and more.

After the 21st victory in a row across the seasons, the SG marched ahead with 26:0 points, followed by SC Magdeburg, THW Kiel (both 24:4) and the Löwen (19:5) with a respectable distance.

In front of 6300 spectators in the Flens Arena, Hampus Wanne and Magnus Jondal were the best throwers of the Flensburg team with six goals, Andy Schmid also scored six times in the Lions competition.

Machulla had demanded a “step above the level” from his team in front of the hard-fought handball cracker. With Kiel and Magdeburg, the SG had already defeated two direct rivals in the race for the title in the “hell north”. Now the 41-year-old hoped for the next exclamation point of his serial offenders.

Flensburg, with its strong 6:0 coverage, was again able to rely on defensive boss Tobias Karlsson, who had to stop last with a concussion. Nevertheless, the lions caught the stronger start, with a good shot of nervousness mingled with the host’s actions. First Hampus Wanne missed the tempo counterattack, then goalkeeper Benjamin Buric made an unnecessary mistake. After ten minutes, concentrated lions led 5-3.

The Mannheimers, who had to manage without their national player Patrick Groetzki (abdominal muscle strain) for a short time, found gaps in the SG defensive, especially on the outer positions. And in the goal the guests had the goalkeeper with the Swede Mikael Appelgren first with the hotter fingers.

The Lions, who had only lost the championship to the Flensburg team on last season’s home straight, felt that they could annoy the power over director Schmid with their consistent attacking game. In the Champions League, too, the SG had already proved vulnerable in five defeats.

But Flensburg shifted up a gear at the beginning of the second run and took the lead for the first time at 16:15 by Jim Gottfridsson (35th). Routinier Holger Glandorf also found his way into the game and increased to 20:16 (44th) for the now irresistible Flensburger with a strong keeper Benjamin Buric. With the lions the plug was pulled, they did not have the energy to come back again.

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