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HC Erlangen draws with TBV Lemgo after a nail-biting finish

Nuremberg, 09-15-2019

The first division handball club HC Erlangen drew 26:26 against TBV Lemgo Lippe in its second home game of the season after a thrilling nail-biter. Despite trailing by five goals at one stage, the club from Franconia fought its way back into the encounter in the second half and even went 24:22 ahead with six minutes remaining. However, its hopes of taking both points were dashed when it conceded a goal in the final second.

HC Erlangen was highly alert at the start of its second home game. After the visitors opened the scoring, Christopher Bissel spotted a gap in Lemgo’s defense to equalize right away (1:1). The encounter was a neck-and-neck affair in the opening minutes, in which the visitors from Eastern Westphalia kept on responding to its opponents’ goals and stayed in front. Sime Ivic was in strong form and, after a save by Lichtlein, scored an impressive goal from the backcourt to put his side ahead for the first time (7:6 in the 13th minute). TBV Lemgo was able to hit back again, with the result that the home side was unable to open up any decisive gap. The lead kept on changing hands up to the 26th minute. Baijens scored twice with three minutes left in the half, causing the HC’s Head Coach Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson to call a timeout. After his pep talk, Florian von Gruchalla cut the deficit to 11:12 with a seven-meter penalty and, after Lemgo again put the ball past Carsten Lichtlein, the last goal by Ivic before the break made it 12:13.

After the restart, Sebastian Firnhaber tied the encounter at 13:13 after a pass from Haaß. HC Erlangen then failed to score at all in the next seven minutes and so slipped 13:17 behind in the 38th minute. Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson called another timeout and it bore fruit: Erlangen sparked an exciting comeback after trailing by five goals (14:19) at one stage. The HCE continued to battle away selflessly, pulled back goal after goal and closed the gap to 19:20 with 15 minutes remaining. When Johannes Sellin tied the scores at 21:21 in the 50th minute, no one in the crowd was able to remain seated any longer. The HCE switched to a 5:1 strategy in defense and so managed to capture possession time and again. The crowd erupted when Christopher Bissel went down the other end on a fast break to put his side 23:22 in front. Erlangen even pulled two ahead after gaining possession again, but then conceded two in a row as the TBV equalized (24:24). The game could hardly be beaten for excitement in the final minutes. The HC went in front again thanks to the goals by Johannes Sellin (26:25), but the visitors capitalized cleverly on their extra man on their last attack and so scored on the buzzer to make the final result 26:26.

“We fought our way back into the game very strongly today after trailing by five goals. All credit to my team for that. Even though we didn’t end up winning today, we can take a lot of positives away from the game,” said Aðalsteinn Eyjólfsson at the press conference afterwards.

HC Erlangen’s next game is on the road at Ludwigshafen Owls in the German Handball League next Saturday. The next home game of the first-division club from Franconia is on September 29, when it welcomes HSG Nordhorn Lingen to the ARENA NÜRNBERGER Versicherung.