When the cup quarterfinals were drawn after the round of the last 16 some weeks ago, a very entertaining round was widely expected. But nobody could have imagined that much controversy. In the first game of the day defending champion SG Flensburg-Handewitt won in Kiel for the first time in nine (!) years to reach the DHB-Pokal Final 4 with an impressive 34:27 (18:15) win.
The THW has now failed to reach the Final 4 for a third consecutive year, mainly because of the outstanding performance by Mattias Andersson. The Swedish goalkeeper was back to his usual self after some subpar outings in recent weeks and the German record champion had no solution against him and Flensburg’s fast offense.
The guests also took profit of Kiel’s shooting woes by using their counter attacks in brilliant fashion. Danish wingers Anders Eggers and Lasse Svan combined for eleven goals, with Svan converting chances from difficult angles. He scored nine times, as did Holger Glandorf. For Kiel Domagoj Duvnjak scored seven times, while Dominik Klein will be out until the end of the year after re-injuring his cruciate ligaments.
Flensburg will be joined by Magdeburg, last year’s runner-up, after the SCM won probably the most boring match of the evening against Frisch Auf Göppingen 29:25 (15:13). It was the first game in charge for 33-year old Bennet Wiegert, a former player who’s been part of the club for 21 overall years. He took over for Geir Sveinsson, who was fired on Monday.
The third side to have qualified seems to be the Rhein-Neckar Löwen, at least at the moment. But the league leaders have to wait before they can celebrate, because the MT Melsungen protested against the final result of 22:21 (15:11), because a new rule was misused by the referees. When the score was tied at 21 with five second to go Melsungen’s Timm Schneider was sent off.
He didn’t get rid of the ball in time, so the two-minute suspension was absolutely correct. But the referees also handed a penalty shot to the Löwen, which was converted by Uwe Gensheimer. Right after the game the MT made sure a protest would be filed. The rule is set to be used only in league play, not in the cup, and officials will decide on Saturday if the game has to be replayed or not.
Last but not least the Bergischer HC took profit of yet another last-second goal after beating Lemgo in the league on the weekend, as hometown hero Christian Hoße scored the winner against second-league side GWD Minden to sent the crowd into a frenzy. It’s the first time ever the lions have qualified for Hamburg.
The final result of 24:23 (13:14) shows that both offenses had an off-day and the game wasn’t too entertaining, except for the excitement. The guests, who led most of the game, wasted three penalty shots and in the end only had to blame themselves for not reaching the Final 4. The tournament will be played in Hamburg’s Barclay Card Arena on April 30th/May 1st, 2016.