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HC Erlangen celebrates thrid league win in a row

Balingen, 10-06-2019

The first division handball team of HC Erlangen chalked up a 32:30 win on the road in Balingen on Sunday afternoon. In an exciting and fiercely contested encounter, the club from Franconia kept its cool throughout and ended up reaping the rewards for its selfless fighting display, in which every team member played his part, and so capture its 8th and 9th points of the season.

It was the expected intense encounter Head Coach Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson had forecast before departing for Balingen. Erlangen got off to a good start and was able to win a seven-meter penalty on its very first attack. Following the foul on Büdel, Johannes Sellin converted the penalty without any problems to put his side 1:0 in front. HC Erlangen then had to wait patiently for five minutes before adding a second. With the scores standing at 4:1, Büdel reduced the deficit to 4:2 in the 7th minute with a shot from the backcourt. In defense, the HC Erlangen often wrestled with the opposing side’s pivot Niemeyer, who repeatedly stormed through toward goal and notched up a total of three goals in the opening spell. Nico Büdel managed to equalize in the 11th minute (5:5). The many HCE fans who had made the journey fired on their team unconditionally and saw a turbulent, fast-paced encounter. Both teams did not give each other an inch and tussled dauntlessly in defense. The longer the game went on, the more securely Erlangen’s defensive ranks became. In the 20th minute, the HC stole possession twice in a row and Bissel scored both times to put his side 10:9 ahead. Carsten Lichtlein is the best seven-meter penalty killer in the German Handball League and proved why by saving one from Gretarsson in the 27th minute, enabling Antonio Metzner to make it 11:12. With one minute left in the first half, the 2.06-meter left-hander again displayed his accuracy with a shot while at full speed to put his side 13:14 in front. With the encounter tied at 14:14, HC Erlangen had just 6 seconds to get a shot in. New signing Quentin Minel did not hesitate long and hammered the ball from a distance of 15 meters into Balingen’s goal as the buzzer sounded. As a result, the two teams went in at half-time with the score standing at 14:15.

HCE conceded two goals after the break to fall 17:16 behind. Sellin and Metzner made it 19:18 and shortly afterwards Nico Büdel produced an impressive Kempa trick to tie the game at 20:20. Both teams fought tenaciously, moved the ball forward quickly and were rugged in defense. Johannes Sellin, who proved to be in accurate shooting form in this encounter from the 8th game day, converted his fast break to secure a 23:22 lead for his side. The HC’s Head Coach Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson needed to talk to his players in the 46th minute when the home side went two ahead (25:23) against its short-handed opponent. The timeout bore fruit: HC Erlangen equalized through Sellin just two minutes later. After a pass by Büdel, Christopher Bissel also hit the mark from the wing to put his side 26:25 in front. The home side did not give up and went one goal in front again with eight minutes remaining. Sellin did not show any nerves with his third seven-meter penalty either and so tied the encounter at 27:27. By then at the latest, the game could hardly be beaten for excitement. Bissel made it 27:28 in the 55th minute, Sellin stretched the gap to 27:29, but then Balingen pulled one back (28:29 in the 56th minute). Büdel chalked up Erlangen’s 30th goal, and since Nikolas Katsigiannis again had a truly field day between the posts and in particular produced strong saves against shots from the wings, Christopher Bissel was able to put his side 31:28 ahead. The HBW’s Head Coach Jens Bürkle adopted the tactic of a seventh field player and his team was able to cut the deficit to 30:31 a little later. Despite the heated atmosphere, Erlangen kept its cool in the final minute, played out its attacks at length and cleverly, and so Sebastian Firnhaber was able to score the match-winner from the crease (30:32).

“We kept our cool the whole game and always believed in ourselves and our system. Winning in Balingen is never a sure thing, so I’m very proud of my team,” said Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson afterwards.

There are now two exciting encounters in store in the ARENA NÜRNBERGER Versicherung next week. The team of Head Coach Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson will line up in front of its home crowd twice, first against FRISCH AUF! Göppingen (Thursday, October 10, throw-off: 7 p.m.), after which it welcomes the star ensemble of Rhine-Neckar Lions to the Noris (Sunday, October 13, throw-off: 1:30 p.m.).