It remains close but the SG Flensburg-Handewitt has the chance to win the European Cup Winner's Cup in the second leg at home on Friday (6.45pm). The SG won the first leg at VfL Gummersbach, 34-33 (16-17). "Gummersbach is under pressure, they have to win at Campushalle," SG manager Holger Kaiser said. "We can be cautiously optimistic. Our team really has become a unit."
SG coach Ljubomir Vranjes started with Mattias Andersson in goal who made an early save, allowing Lasse Svan Hansen a chance to score on a fastbreak. The 2-0 lead was a perfect start to the game. Gummersbach, however, changed the momentum and made it 6-4 before the SG started an 8-1 run.
Gummersbach's coach called his timeout yet Tamás Mocsai scored right after to make it 13-7. The visitors could not continue to build on this lead though; at 13-11, Vranjes called his timeout and Gummersbach tied the game at 14-14 with five minutes left in the first half.
The SG brought on Viktor Szilagyi against the 4-2 defence formation yet his team was not able to score on many chances. On the other side, Adrian Pfahl made it 17-15 for his team while Svan Hansen at least cut the lead in half before the break.
After the interval, the SG was able to turn the game around once again, getting away to a 19-17 lead. Gummersbach only needed a couple of minutes to tie the game again at 21-21, Andersson made some saves to make sure that his team remained in control.
Over the next minutes, the game remained close but the visitors kept their cool even when Gummersbach had a 30-28 lead. After Vranjes called another timeout, Anders Eggert passed to Michael Knudsen who cut the lead to one bevore Petar Djordjic tied the game.
Lasse Svan Hansen then scored the last goal of the game before Christoph Schindler missed on his final attempt for Gummersbach. In the second leg, the SG only needs to win at home to bring home the first cup in seven years. "We should remain careful," Vranjes said after the game. "There's still 60 minutes to play and we're going to work hard until Friday."
VfL Gummersbach – SG Flensburg-Handewitt 33-34 (17-16)
VfL Gummersbach: Rezar (14 saves), Somic – Schindler (3), Anic (3), Krause, Putics (2), Wiencek (4), Lützelberger (2), Mahé (6), Pfahl (9/4), Sprem, Zrnic (4)
SG Flensburg-Handewitt: Andersson (22 saves), Rasmussen – Karlsson, Eggert (11/3), Mogensen (6), Svan Hansen (6), Djordjic (4), Mocsai (2), Heinl, Szilagyi, Kaufmann (2), Knudsen (3)
Referees: Nikolov/Nachevski (Mazedonien); Suspensions: 4:4 Minutes (Mogensen 2, Karlsson 2 – Wiencek 2, Krause 2); Penalty throws: 4/4:3/3; Attendance: 2178 (sold out)
Timeline: 0:2 (4.), 3:2 (6.), 4:4 (8.), 6:4 (9.), 6:8 (13.), 7:13 (18.), 12:13 (23.), 14:14 (26.), 17:15 (30.) – 17:19 (33.), 18:20 (35.), 19:21 (36.), 21:21 (39.), 23:23 (41.), 23:25 (43.), 24:26 (44.), 26:26 (46.), 28:27 (48.), 30:28 (53.), 31:29 (54.), 31:31 (56.), 33:32 (58.)