NEWS FEATURE: Host of the EHF Cup Finals victorious in German Cup – historic day for handball in the German capital
Füchse win first trophy and want more
120 minutes in Hamburg changed everything for one club over the weekend. Füchse Berlin first beat Melsungen in the semi-final of the German Cup and then sensationally overcame favourites SG Flensburg-Handewitt on Sunday.
The result of 22:21 at the end of a thrilling final was a milestone in the history of the host of the EHF Cup Finals (17/18 May).
“We have something in our hands, which nobody can take away from us,” was the first reaction of team captain Iker Romero after Füchse won their first title in the club’s history.
“We had planned to win our first trophy ever at home in the EHF Cup Finals, but now we accomplished this mission earlier,” said Romero, who scored the decisive last goal: “But now we are even hungrier to win the EHF Cup trophy.”
Berlin qualified for the EHF Cup Finals directly as host, while the three remaining spots will be decided in three quarter-final pairings over the following two weeks. The draw for the semi-finals will take place in Berlin on 29 April.
Match winners in the German Cup final for Füchse were goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter and top scorer Konstantin Igropoulo, who found the net nine times against the unlucky team from Flensburg, on the wrong end of the score line for the fourth straight German Cup final, after three defeats against THW Kiel.
“We will never forget this day, as we made history. History for Füchse, history for Berlin,” coach Dagur Sigurdsson emotionally said
“We have an extraordinary mix of talents and experience, which made this dream come true,” added the Icelandic coach.
Now Füchse are willing to make their already most successful season in the club’s history even more historic: “This trophy will push us to win the EHF Cup on home court as well,” said manager Bob Hanning.
For him, the cup coup in Hamburg was even more satisfactory, as it proved that his strategy to count on young German born players, was right: “They are the future of our club,” Hanning, when speaking about talents such as Paul Drux (20) and Fabian Wiede (19).
On taking their first trophy, Hanning said: “This is pure madness and the culmination point of all our work in the previous years. What we did on court was a new definition of what passion is all about. I am more than happy.”
One of the first congratulants was Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit: “The sports capital of Berlin is happy with Füchse. A big team has grown, which will fight for even more success in the future.”
Hanning joked about future costs which will arise for Füchse: “I really don’t care that we have to buy new stationery now, as we have to recycle the old, now that we have an official title,” concluded the delighted manager.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
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