It seems to become quite common in the DKB Handball-Bundesliga that crucial games get decided by a last-second buzzer beater, as we already reported some weeks ago when the Rhein-Neckar Löwen won in Hamburg. This time, however, Wetzlar’s Steffen Fäth was the hero in Göppingen. So what do you need to know more about a game which was decided when the clock had already expired?
Frisch Auf hosted the HSG Wetzlar in what many of the 5.000 fans at hand, and also most experts, had anticipated as a high hurdle for the visitors to overcome. The Hessians are somewhat of surprise team, especially after losing Ivano Balic to retirement and Kent Robin Tönnesen to Berlin in the off-season. But coach Kai Wandschneider was able to find a way to replace them and keeper Andreas Wolff’s form is just outstanding.
This time, however, he struggled a bit against a well-balanced Göppingen team which used nine different players to score goals. That balance made it hard to predict for the guests what to expect. Frisch Auf scored from the back-court, where both Zarko Sesum and Michael Kraus, still fighting for a contract extension, his current deal expires at season’s end, took charge of the game. From the wings Marcel Schiller and Anton Halen were always dangerous.
Meanwhile Wetzlar caused the same problems for Göppingen’s defense, but lost an important piece of its offense when Joao Ferraz was sent off after 16 minutes after fouling Lars Kaufmann hard. But instead of falling apart, the guests showed why it’s so extremely tough to beat them this season. Göppingen had taken a three-goal lead shortly after, but Wetzlar came back and the score was tied at 15:15 after the first half.
After the break the hosts started to shine again and led 19:16, when Wandschneider took a timeout. The distance remained the same until Primoz Prost, Göppingen’s keeper, was also sent off after hitting Maximilan Holst on a fast-break. His usual replacement, Bastian Rutschmann, is injured right now so Daniel Rebmann had to take over.
The youngster did a decent job and even saved two penalty shots from Holst and Guillaume Joli, but wasn’t able to prevent Wetzlar from tying the game. Then, well then came the moment of Steffen Fäth, full of confidence at the moment, especially after playing a key part in Germany winning the Supercup a week earlier. When the clock had already expired he hammered home the game-winning shot from a direct free-throw.