As usual we start at the top of the standing in our weekly roundup of the DKB Handball-Bundesliga. The Rhein-Neckar Löwen travelled to Hamburg where they faced a highly motivated HSV side in front of more than 8.000 fans. The game was close until the dying seconds, when Swiss playmaker Andy Schmid used a smart pass from pivot Rafael Baena to beat Johannes Bitter from a sharp angle as the clock expired. The lions went back home with a 29:28 (15:15) win and two very important points.
In Berlin reigning champion Kiel faced a tough task against the Füchse, who started strong, mainly because of right-back Fabian Wiede, who was on fire most of the game. He finished with eight goals overall. But the THW showed its true face after the break and especially Domagoj Duvnjak had a heck of a game. Along with Marko Vujin and Niklas Ekberg, who also scored eight times apiece, he was Kiel’s leading scorer. Niklas Landin had a strong outing in goal for the zebras, with key saves leading to easy goals on the break numerous times. Final score in the Fuchsbau: 27:24 (11:12) for Kiel.
In Flensburg the hosts had a difficult game against SC Magdeburg. The East Germans are struggling this year after a great 2014/15 season, but on Sunday they had a very strong outing. Especially Marko Bezjak was almost unstoppable, as he scored six times and assisted on a lot of goals by left-back Michael Damgaard (8). But Flensburg used its deep bench, was lucky with some referee decisions at the end and won 33:30 (15:14), led by Anders Eggert (10/4) in the scoring department.
In Kassel the MT Melsungen faced a depleted Bergischer HC. The guests are still without various key players, like right-back Kristian Nippes and left-wing Christian Hoße. Still they were able to keep the game close in the early stages, but didn’t have enough fire-power on offense to keep up with the hosts in the second half. After being down by just one goal at the break (14:15), the Bergischen Löwen lost by seven (22:29). While Michael Müller (8) led Melsungen, Arnor Gunnarsson (6/1) and Maximilian Hermann (6) shined for the guests.
Which leads us to another team fighting against relegation, HBW Balingen-Weilstetten. The Swabians lost by eleven (21:31) in Wetzlar. Hosting HSG used another stellar performance by Andreas Wolff, who will join Kiel in the summer of 2017, and a great first half (16:10) to keep the points. Maximilian Holst (10/7) led his team in scoring, while Fabian Böhm’s five goals led Balingen.
In a battle of newly-promoted sides from East Germany Leipzig once again showed that it belongs to the first league, having no problems at all to beat rivals ThSV Eisenach by a score of 36:31 (19:13). Philipp Pöter scored eight teams for SC DHfK, while Azat Valiullin’s ten strikes led the guests in front of 4.710 spectators in the Arena Leipzig.
Gummersbach is finally back on the winning track after defeating Frisch Auf Göppingen. The VfL, losing three in a three in addition to an absolute humiliation in the DHB-Pokal against Flensburg, we under pressure because, next to the bad results, the fans were unhappy about the team’s attitude. The 31:27 (14:11) win satisfied both the coach and players, as well as the supporters.
Last but not least four teams played to a draw. In Lemgo the hosting TBV and visiting Hannover “agreed” to share the points, 34:34 (19:17) being the finals result, not caring too much about defense. In Stuttgart first-time Bundesliga side TVB 1898 faced bottom-of-the-table Lübbecke. The guests were down by seven (13:20) at the break and came back to steal a point (33:33), but remained winless this season. Rookie head coach Goran Suton is still on the hot seat.