Berlin ready to defend the trophy
The 34:26 away victory at Hannover in the Men's EHF Cup Quarter-final first leg was the perfect base and on Sunday Füchse Berlin sealed the deal easily on home ground. Thanks to the 30:28 scoreline – a result which definitely does not reflect Berlin’s dominance - they marched through to qualify for the AKQUINET EHF CUP FINALS in Kiel.
The defending champions will have a little anniversary at the AKQUINET EHF CUP FINALS on 17/18 May in Kiel as it will their fifth participation in the EHF Cup Finals since 2014. Berlin are now aiming to be the second team after Göppingen in 2016/2017 to defend the trophy since the EHF Cup was merged in the 2012/13 season.
- After hosts THW Kiel, FC Porto and TTH Holstebro, Füchse Berlin are the fourth participant of the AKQUINET EHF CUP FINALS.
- Füchse were the only side to win both quarter-final matches.
- Best scorers were two right wings: Timo Kastening with nine strikes for Hannover and Hans Lindberg, who scored eight for Berlin.
- Lindberg enters the AKQUINET EHF CUP FINALS as the second top scorer (71 goals) of the competition behind Magnus Bramming (Holstebro/89 goals)
- The semi-final draw will be staged on Tuesday at 11:00 hrs local time at Hotel Atlantic in Kiel (livestream on ehfTV.com).
QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG:
Füchse Berlin (GER) vs TSV Hannover-Burgdorf (GER) 30:28 (18:11)
Füchse Berlin won 64:54 on aggregate
With Füchse Berlin already holding an eight-goal cushion from the first leg, all questions had been answered already after ten minutes of the second leg. Thanks to a more than brilliant start, an incredible defence and an attacking performance which was close to perfection, Berlin were ahead 9:2 and had sealed the deal easily – and they held an overall aggregate lead of 15 goals after 10 minutes of the second leg.
Though Hannover improved somewhat in attack, the margin was still seven goals at the break, and Berlin’s dominance was mainly underlined by one number: a 90 percent of attack efficiency after 30 minutes. Hannover simply could not defend against Füchse, suffered too many of their own turnovers and were overrun by waves of counter attacks.
When the distance was almost at double figures, 22:13, Berlin decelerated and allowed the visitors to reduce the gap goal by goal, without any fear of danger. The closest gap was one goal in the dying minutes, when Hans Lindberg – top scorer of the EHF Cup in 2016/17 and 2017/18 – scored his eighth and final goal of the match.
Velimir Petkovic, Füchse Berlin coach: “That was a highly deserved victory. It was a great game. A good performance in Hannover made it possible for us to get into the game without pressure. I was able to spare some players. Especially in the first half we showed excellent coverage in cooperation with the goalkeepers and played well in attack.”
Carlos Ortega, TSV Hannover-Burgdorf coach: “It was clear that it was going to be hard to get to the EHF Cup Finals. Our first half was a disaster. I can only congratulate Füchse and wish them much success in the finals.”
Bjarki Mar Elisson, Füchse Berlin left wing: “We will try everything to defend the title. I am glad that we did it today and have remained injury free. I am looking forward to playing in the finals and hope to return with the title.”
Kai Häfner, TSV Hannover-Burgdorf right back: “It was very, very difficult with the starting position. We started badly. On the whole, we are very dissatisfied and disappointed.”