HC Erlangen lost its game on the road against the reigning German champions Rhine-Neckar Lions by 22:33. The defeat in Mannheim now means the team of Adalsteinn Eyjolfsson is 15th in the DKB German Handball League.
The players of HC Erlangen had set their sights high going into the duel against the club that had won the championship the past two years. HC Erlangen wanted to counter Rhine-Neckar Lions with aggression, agility and speed in switching from defense to attack and back and succeeded in doing that very well, at least in the opening spell. Mannheim found the going extremely tough against HC Erlangen’s defense and, when Neckar happened to find a gap, Nikolas Katsigiannis was on hand. Quick opening moves in attack and thoughtful passing gave the HC a three-goal lead after 15 minutes. The Rhine-Neckar Lions then changed from 6-0 to 5-1 covering in defense and so thwarted HC Erlangen’s game. Hendrik Pekeler repeatedly interrupted the visitors as they built their moves and the home side managed to score easy goals in front of the more than 8,000 spectators in the SAP Arena. Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson turned the game around by half-time and the reigning champions went in leading 16:12.
The Lions were now on a roll and, stepping up the pace after the break, unfurled their dangerous attacking play. As usual, Andy Schmid directed Mannheim as it built its attacks and kept on setting up promising scoring opportunities for his teammates. The Rhine-Neckar Lions pulled further away and in the end ran out deserved winners against HC Erlangen.