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15.02.2008, 09:57
Bitter saves two points for Hamburg
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Despite an 11-goal HSV lead against Zagreb, the match has become close by the end. Hamburg won 32:29
 

Bitter saves two points for Hamburg

50 minutes were great, but at the end they nearly had to shiver: HSV Hamburg stay unbeaten at home in the EHF Champions League. More than 6,000 spectators celebrated a 32:29 (16:11) victory in the second Main Round match against RK Zagreb, but the team missed great chances to get an even better goal difference. Before the second match of Day 2 in Group 3 (Portland vs Flensburg) Hamburg are leading the ranking with 3:1 points. Zagreb have 2:2 points.

Bitter was man of the matchThe top scorer for Hamburg was Torsten Jansen with eight goals, while the most successful players of the Croatian champions were Igor Vori and Kiril Lazarov with seven goals each.

The best player on the court by far was HSV goalkeeper Johannes Bitter who played his best match of the Champions League season with 19 saves. With this outstanding performance Hamburg were in the lead permanently after the 10th minute.

As the Croatian defence were not on top (including both goalkeepers, Sola and Jerkovic), Hamburg dominated the match nearly all the way.

The 16:11 at halftime (six goals in the first 30 minutes were scored by Jansen) was not all. After that HSV’s express ran over Zagreb. It took another eight minutes to increase the gap for the first time to ten goals (22:12) and Zagreb did not have tools to stop Hamburg. Bitter’s performance continuously improved.

Kiril Lazarov and Vori were “switched off” by the HSV defence, only the very strong center back Domagoj Duvnjak and back court layer Bicancic kept RK alive. At the score of 25:14 it looked like a complete disaster for the Croatians.

“We can make an important step for a good goal difference,” said HSV sports director, Christian Fitzek. He proved to be wrong. After a lot of changes in the team, Hamburg lost the plot. Hamburg made many mistakes in attack and Zagreb came closer and closer with counter attacks.

Six minutes before the end it was only six goals (24:29), then five, then four and then three… The last ten minutes showed the real qualities of Zagreb. But it was too late for them and good luck for HSV.

After the match HSV also had something to celebrate as the Danish right winger, Hans Lindberg, extended his contract up to 2011.

HSV coach Martin Schwalb was not only glad that Lindbergh will stay with Hamburg, but also with the first 50 minutes of the match:

“I was very satisfied as my team did everything right. We put pressure on Zagreb and were very successful in offense. But from this point on we lost our heads in the attack. We have two more points and this is important.”

Lino Cervar, the coach of Zagreb, had almost the same opinion about the match:

“Our backcourt players had big problems with the defence of Hamburg and did not have enough patience. But as we changed our defense system at the end, we were better and better. But – no doubt – it was a well-deserved Hamburg victory.”


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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