Hamburg Win First Champions League Title In Grand Style

by
Reuters
HSV Hamburg won their maiden Champions League handball title after a thrilling 30-29 extra-time win over the competition's eight-time winners Barcelona on Sunday.

Hans Lindberg

HSV Hamburg won their maiden Champions League handball title after a thrilling 30-29 extra-time win over the competition's eight-time winners Barcelona on Sunday.

The German side came out on top in an absorbing contest with their second upset of the Final Four tournament, having brushed aside compatriots and last season's winners THW Kiel 39-33 in Saturday's semi-final.

Goalkeeper Johannes Bitter was instrumental in Hamburg's success with two outstanding saves in the final minute after the competition's top scorer Hans Lindberg converted a penalty to take his tally to 101 goals.

Roared on by the bulk of 20,000 fans crammed in the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Hamburg battled back from a two-goal halftime deficit and seemed on course to win the tie in regular time after taking a 24-20 lead with six minutes left on the clock.

Led by Belarus left back Siarhei Rutenka, the game's top scorer with eight goals, Barcelona forced the additional 10 minutes but could not find a way past Bitter after Lindberg rifled in his sixth from the seven-metre line.

Earlier on Sunday, Polish title holders Vive Targi Kielce, who were beaten by Barcelona 28-23 in the other semi-final, edged Kiel 31-30 to finish third in their first Final Four appearance.