After the boredom of last season, the battle for the german handball championship remains exciting this year – as defending champions THW kiel surprisingly conceded their third defeat of the season.
The triple winners, who won the title last year without dropping a point, lost 29:33 (12:16) at frisch auf goppingen. Even though they lost to goppingen for the first time in more than eight years, the kielers retain their lead in the table over the rhein-neckar lows.
Coach alfred gislason took the first timeout after just six minutes, with the score at 1:5. His team lacked ideas on defense, while FA keeper primoz prost had a great day with countless saves, and kiel was down 7:15 at one point. After the change of sides, goppingen continued its combative play unchanged, kiel disappointed all along the line.
Both teams face international challenges this weekend: kiel must overcome a two-goal deficit against medwedi tschechow in the quarterfinals of the champions league, while goppingen needs a home win against CB logrono to advance safely to the last eight in the EHF cup.
SG flensburg-handewitt extended their winning streak under the eyes of national coach martin heuberger. With the 30:27 (16:16) against the table runner-up rhein-neckar lowen, the northern germans are unbeaten for 21 compulsory games and at home this season still without losing points. The mannheimer sold itself dearly, but flensburg had the better change possibilities and at the end the longer breath.
Meanwhile, the fuchse berlin defeated the relegation candidate TV grobwallstadt with 30:21 (12:12), but showed only in the second half a decent performance. Now the foxes can concentrate fully on the eighth-final match in the champions league against atletico madrid. After the 29:29 in the first leg in madrid, the berlin team has a good chance of making it to the quarterfinals as they did last year.
Meanwhile, SC magdeburg, which has already qualified for the quarter-finals of the EHF cup, celebrated its first home victory of the year. The bordelander won at home against TBV lemgo with 27:24 (18:12).