HC Erlangen produced a more than strong performance against the reigning DHB Cup winners SC Magdeburg, but still lost 25:27 (12:14). The team of Head Coach Robert Andersson was always a match for one of Germany’s top clubs and can now go into the Franconian derby against HSC 2000 Coburg brimming with confidence.
The game in front of 6,000 spectators in the packed GETEC Arena began just as HC Erlangen had hoped. Its defense was solid from the outset and Nikolas Katsigiannis in goal played as if possessed. After ten minutes, the team from Central Franconia led by 6:3 against the red-hot favorites from Saxony-Anhalt. However, SC Magdeburg closed this three-goal gap in the space of eight minutes, although the crowd in the GETEC Arena – accustomed to success – was only placated by that to some extent. Whistles kept on reverberating around the hall packed with white-clad fans – and the credit for that went to the league newcomers from Erlangen. Spurred on by a strong performance from Michael Haaß, HC Erlangen often hit upon good solutions to tough situations and found a fine mix between shooting and passing at the crease in the first half. It was not until the 23rd minute that the cup winners were able to take the lead on their home turf. It kept on changing hands in the final spell of the first half, but then the SCM scored two successive goals in the 29th minute to move 14:12 ahead at half-time.
After the break, the Eastern German club with a long and rich tradition did not manage to exploit the situation and pull away. Jonas Thümmler and Martin Stranovsky equalized within four minutes and once again the home fans in the GETEC Arena did not disguise their displeasure. Magdeburg was never able to open up a gap, while HC Erlangen repeatedly showed its class with its patient play and so managed to achieve its pre-game goal of remaining in contention until crunch time, where it had already decided the odd game or more in its favor this season. The encounter was completely up for grabs with five minutes to go – and then came a flurry of action. A breakthrough by Michael Haaß was called back and at the other end Stanko was penalized for a clean action while defending well in front of the crease and so the SCM was awarded a seven-meter penalty. Ole Rahmel was not able to capitalize on the chance to equalize and so the SCM sealed the game in the 60th minute to make the final score 27:25.
HC Erlangen can go into the Franconian derby against HSC 2000 Coburg on Saturday, December 10, 2016, exuding confidence after two wins against direct rivals in the battle to avoid relegation and a magnificent display against the German cup winners. Well over 6,000 handball fans from Franconia will then flock to the Nürnberger Versicherung Arena and help stage one huge party for handball in the region.