Group A
HC Motor Zaporozhye 26 : 32 Rhein-Neckar Löwen

After Veszprem and Hamburg, Rhein Neckar Löwen also got the ticket for the Main round. Today they defeated Motor Zaporozhye in Ukraine with 26:32(10:15) and secured a place in the Final 16.

Tonight’s EHF Cup Winners’ victory against the Ukrainian champions HC Motor Zaporozhye with 32:26 ( 15:10 ) sealed one of the top four places in group A for the German team. The top scorer for the Baden team was captain Uwe Gensheimer with seven goals, in the home team Ostroushko was the top scorer with 8 goals . With the fifth win in the Champions league in a row the Lions remain as the current table runner on the heels of the current leader Hungarian champion MKB Veszprem MVM .

Since the hall of the Ukrainian champion from Zaporozhye does not meet the requirements of the European Handball Federation, the game was played 300km of Zaporozhye, in Kharkov. In the first leg in Mannheim, the Ukrainians had already took a point from Rhein Neckar, to kick off the group stage of the Champions League with a point.

Lions coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson said:


“I am incredibly proud of my team . We have approached this task very concentrated and have mainly played in the first half, an extremely strong defense. But we were fresher and livelier than our opponents , and also had with Niklas Landin a goalkeeper in world-class shape. Oli has today expressed his very strong performance, and although he last played very little , Sergei has also achieved today in attack many important goals , I am incredibly proud of the guys”

Powered by Niklas Landin on the goal, Rhein Neckar has given a tone to the game from the start, Captain Uwe Gensheimer scored the first two goals of the game , and quickly became clear that Zaporoshye could not keep the fast paced game of Löwen (Lions). After a quarter of an hour and a 8:4 lead of the guests,  coach Bebeshko asked for time out, but his team was simply no remedy for the compact and coordinated defense of lions, who also punished any technical error of Zaporozhye with fast counter-attacks . The guests had significantly high lead at the break 15:10 .

Andy Schmid (playmaker Rhein Neckar Löwen):


” We have seen that we can have fun playing Handball. Today we were better and not as cramped as the last games, we now have five victories in the Champions League in a row, we can be proud, especially if you load our looks”.

In the second half the Lions pushed up the pace again, they wanted to decide the game early. At 17:10 after less than three minutes into the second half , there was again a break from Zaporozhye , this time did little to the course of the game. In the middle of the second half it was 28:18, with the score by Kim Ekdahl du Rietz that was already loaded in the first half with two early time penalties. An unexpected debacle threatened Zaporozyhe. It was a wake up call for the home team and after some great saves of the home team goalkeeper Stochl, and precise turnovers of the Ukrainians in the closing stages they closed the gap a little as a consolation, so halved the engine debris from 18:28 ( 51′) to 25:30 (56′). In the final minutes Roko Peribonio got between the post, for the guests, the game ended with 32:26 ( 15:10 ).

HC Motor Zaporozhye: Ostroushko 8, Tsitou 4, Skopintsev 3, Aflitulin 2, Burka 2, Evdokimov 2, Onufryienko 2, Semikov 2, Zhuk 1, Kamanin, Koshovy, Kubatko, Kurylenko, Shevelev, Stochl, Tsap
Rhein-Neckar Löwen:7 Gensheimer, 4 Gorbok, 4 Petersson, 3 Ekdahl du Rietz, 3 Schmid, 3 Sigurmannsson, 2 Guardiola Villaplana, 2 Guardiola Villaplana, 2 Prodanovic, 1 Groetzki, 1 Myrhol, Landin Jacobsen, Peribonio, Roggisch
REFEREES: Sorin-Laurentiu Dinu (ROU) Constantin Din (ROU)
EHF-DELEGATE: Predrag Pavicevic (MNE)
VENUE: Kharkov (UKR)