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Of: Ralph Waldschmidt

Nothing again: Wetzlar’s Magnus Fredriksen bitterly disappointed after the 26:30 against HC Erlangen. © Harald Friedrich

Arrived in reality. The 26:30 (9:15) against HC Erlangen ended all dreams of international business for the local handball Bundesliga team HSG Wetzlar.

A lot must have happened in the Buderus Arena when coach Benjamin Matschke sends his team back to the floor very early in the half-time break for a “penalty training report”. It is. After a disastrous first 30 minutes against HC Erlangen and a 9:15 deficit at the break, it was the coach who otherwise seemed so diplomatic Oberkante Unterlippe. Luckily Matschke’s inner level of anger didn’t result in pure fainting in the second half at the home game -26:30, because his team, who had been playing underground for a long time, at least unpacked their fighting spirit after the 10:20 (36th) and thus at least prevented a result fiasco.

The Mittelhessen started the service for the Thursday late shift with a considerable delay. The 0:3 (7th) and 5:10 deficit (18th) immediately brought back the memory of unadorned home performances such as against HSV Hamburg or Bergische HC. The home game trauma since the return of the spectators continued to accompany the Green-Whites against the highly efficient and provocatively sober Erlangen team until the break-time dismantling of 9:15.

The only 2,200 (sometimes even free of charge) spectators in the stands of the Buderus Arena, who are only too happy to finally experience such spectacularly enthusiastic HSG performances with their own eyes, such as during the Corona ghost times against THW Kiel or Rhein-Neckar Löwen, are also of concern would like.

The first whistles from the grandstands, which were already audible after 25 minutes at Zechel-5:13 from the district, were alarming.

The defensive work, which, like five days ago against Füchse Berlin, did not get a grip on the small group game build-up/circle of guests. The result: HC half players Antonio Metzner and Simon Jeppsson, in cooperation with (auxiliary) line runner Tim Zechel, duped the Wetzlar guard half a dozen times up to half-time, and a dozen times until the end!

The still high number of technical errors and misses, which would undoubtedly make every young coach’s face flush, which is now a common thread through the second half of the Bundesliga, is worrying.

Fredriksen and Co. missed the start of their shift again right at the beginning of the second half. Adam Nyfjäll missed the next big chance against HCE keeper Klemen Ferlin (31st), Emil Mellegard received a two-minute penalty (32nd) – and so Benjamin Matschke had to see the green at 10:20 (Sellin, 36th). Pull card as an emergency brake.

The fact that the game did not become a fiasco in terms of results was due to the emotions that the HSG players, who were full of honor, finally unpacked in the final phase and were even able to sniff the point win again at 23:26 in the 54th minute. But that would have reversed handball conditions, it would have been undeserved points – as unpatriotic as it may sound.

“We weren’t there as a team,” admitted Wetzlar’s right winger Lars Weissgerber. Coach Benjamin Matschke needed a long time to regain his composure: “In the first 45 minutes we missed everything that makes us different.”

HSG Wetzlar: Till Klimpke, Komok; Srsen, Nyfjäll (1), Ole Klimpke (1), Mirkulovski, Danner (1), Weissgerber (3), Holst (2/2), Fredriksen (1), Forsell Schefvert (4), Okpara, Mellegard (2), Rubin (6), Novak, Cavor (5).

HC Erlangen: Sonne Hansen, Ferlin; Seitz, Sellin (6), Jäger, Overby, Fäth, Kellner, Büdel, Bissel (2), Metzner (1), Link, Jeppsson (4), Steinert (5/4), Leban, Zechel (12).

Shorthand / Referee: Thöne/Zupanovic (Berlin). – Spectators: 2200. – Time penalties: Nyfjäll (10th), Novak (17th), Mellegard (31st, all Wetzlar); Overby (11th, 15th), Metzner (38th), Büdel (53rd, all Erlangen). – Penalties: 2/3:4/4.

Significant: Erlangen’s right winger Johannes Sellin can – for 45 minutes – choose the corner against HSG goalkeeper Till Klimpke and a suspended Stefan Cavor. © Harald Friedrich

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