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“Surprise and favorite triumph in the Final Four of the DHB Cup.”


The Rhein-Neckar Löwen will meet SC Magdeburg in the DHB Cup final on Sunday. The victory of Mannheim over Flensburg came quite unexpectedly.

A surprise and a victory for the favourites: Rhein-Neckar Löwen and SC Magdeburg are fighting for the title at the DHB Cup premiere in Cologne.

The Mannheimers, led by Juri Knorr, duped SG Flensburg-Handewitt with 38:31 (19:13), then the German champions followed suit with a 33:31 (17:13) in the second semi-final against TBV Lemgo Lippe.

“It’s indescribable, it was an amazing game and Juri just unbelievable. We deserved to win,” enthused Löwen keeper Joel Birlehm after the impressive performance against Flensburg.

With ten goals, Knorr became the best pitcher for Sebastian Hinze’s team and was showered with praise, including from the opposing coach. “The Lions had a player in Juri Knorr today who played at an unbelievable level for more than 60 minutes,” said SG coach Maik Machulla appreciatively.

New self-confidence for the Rhein-Neckar Löwen

In the final on Sunday (3.40 p.m. / Sky and ARD), the Mannheimers should reach for their second cup triumph after 2018 with plenty of new self-confidence – however, the SCM also showed a strong performance: the highly efficient team of coach Bennet Wiegert left out the cup experts Lemgo, who took part in the final tournament for the third time in a row. Kay Smits (12 goals) and Gisli Kristjansson (9) were the top scorers.

For the sixth time in the 30-year history of the Final Four tournament, the pairing in the semifinals was Flensburg versus Mannheim. With their first success, the lions defeated their Flensburg curse and at the same time destroyed an impressive series of their opponents: The SG had not lost for four months (21 competitive games).

Stable cover was the key, from which the lions often counterattacked, especially before the break. The Hinze team acted with an extremely high intensity and repeatedly benefited from Knorr’s clever shots and passes on the offensive. The fact that the lions had arrived with four Bundesliga defeats in their luggage was not noticeable in the atmospheric arena.

“We’ve played real crap together in the past few weeks”

“We’ve been playing real crap together for the past three or four weeks,” Knorr admitted on “ARD”. But: “We haven’t lost faith in ourselves and our big goal of being here today. We’ve done the first part of the work.”

Last year’s finalist Magdeburg drew four goals just before the break. As soon as Lemgo sniffed at least two goals after the break, SCM’s reliable offensive motor shifted up a gear.

The Lemgo goalkeepers Urh Kastelic and Finn Zecher hardly got hands on the ball.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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