In a game full of emotional roller coasters the SG Flensburg-Handewitt escaped with a key victory against the SC Magdeburg, winning by a score of 33:30 (15:14). Being the pre-season title favorite by many, the SG had trouble to control SCM playmaker Marko Bezjak. The Slovenian, who played outstanding most of last season, seems to be on fire again. He finished the game with six goals.
His team, quite dependent on his ideas, came back from multiple-goal deficits various times, taking profit of easy mistakes made by Flensburg and efficient fast-breaks. He also inspired Danish left-back Michael Damgaard to shoot almost every time he got a chance and he paid back with eight goals. His powerful shots were sometimes just too fast to handle for Matthias Andersson.
Before Bezjak took over, it looked like Flensburg would coast to an easy win. The team of Ljubomir Vranjes led by five (13:8) after 20 minutes, but the guests kept fighting and a three-goal run cut the deficit into two. Yannick Green had replaced Dario Quenstedt in goal, another decision which paid off for Magdeburgs’s coach Geir Sveinsson. No surprise the first half almost ended in a tie.
The second half started just like the first had ended. Flensburg looked in control, but Magdeburg did everything to stay in the game. But after 40 minutes Anders Eggert made it 23:20 for Flensburg and the hosts were on the winning track, sort of. Magdeburg had something else in mind and didn’t surrender. They even took the lead (28:27) again for the first time since it was 5:6 early in the game, when Bezjak scored with less than eight minutes to go.
Vranjes took a timeout shortly afterwards (28:29), talking especially to Johan Jakobsson, who finally took his chance and scored on the next possession. Kentin Mahe, not having played a single minute before, then came on to convert an important penalty shot to make it 30:29. Within 90 seconds Flensburg had retaken the lead. After Henrik Toft Hansen scored on back-to-back possessions, two points were set to remain in the North, with Magdeburg suffering from a shorter bench.
However, SCM right-wing Robert Weber was complaining about the referees as well. “I think that we didn’t get any whistles in crunch time. They didn’t want us to win here. The result wasn’t fair. Hats off to my teammates, we played a great game. Next time we just have to be better by ten goals against such a team.”
Flensburg, led by Eggerts’s 10/4 goals, will travel to Eisenach after the break, while Magdeburg hosts lowly TBV Lemgo. Both of them are heavily favored to win those games, while both of them have to in order to achieve their pre-season goals.