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29.11.2007, 10:28
“Goggi’s“ fabulous comeback
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Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson decides Gummerbach’s cup match against Göppingen: VfL in the quarterfinals
 

“Goggi’s“ fabulous comeback

Sigurdsson could not just watch the game any more, he came in for the last minutes“Maybe he will be able to play by the beginning of December.” On his way to Vienna for the Champions League draw on Tuesday, Francois Xavier Houlet, director of VfL Gummersbach, did not know what would happen on the same evening.

He was talking about his injured top player, Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson. The shoulder of the Icelandic international had to be operated in September, right before the start of the CL group phase and he could not play national or international matches.

His comeback was foreseen for the last domestic matches before Christmas. On Tuesday evening Gummersbach had to play their Last 16 game in the German Cup against Göppingen. The spectators could not believe what they saw as Sigurdsson started warm up before the match. Due to recent injuries in the VfL team, especially Adrian Wagner substitute left wing, the Icelandic was needed. However, Sigurdsson took place on the tribune after the warm up – and nobody could even know at this time, that he would come on court for a sensational and fabulous comeback.

“We want to reach the Final Four,” said Houlet on his flight home from Vienna to Cologne, “so we have to win against Göppingen”. At half time everything was looking good for VfL that never qualified for the Final Four of the German Cup before. With a strong performance of the Slovenian Roman Pungartnik and pivot Robert Gunnarsson, Gummersbach were leading 19:15.

In the following period Göppingen improved and VfL made too many easy mistakes. Coach Alfred Gislasson appeared to be terrified on the bench as Göppingen took a 22:20 lead. Timeout Gislasson.

Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson, who changed from the tribune to the bench at halftime, started motivating his team mates. And then he took off his sweater and came on court.

A comeback, much earlier than expected… After 15 seconds he scores his first goal, but instead of playing better, Gummersbach lost the rhythm again and Göppingen made it 27:23.

Gislasson suffered a lot, but the end of the match was easyFurious ten minutes started for Sigurdsson, he scored goal after goal, equalised at 30:30 and defeated Göppingen.

At the end all VfL players were celebrating the comeback of “Iceland Express” (five goals) and the 33:30 victory. Now they still have a chance to reach the Final Four for the first time in their history.

“Our game was a catastrophe after halftime and we have to thank Goggi that he played, although his shoulder is not 100 percent okay. He was fantastic and all the team showed great character in the last 15 minutes,” said VfL coach, Alfred Gislasson.

German champion and last year’s cup winner THW Kiel reached the quarterfinal with no problem after a 39:33 win against a second division team, Hamm.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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