Mannheim (dpa) – The Rhein-Neckar Löwen couldn’t really look forward to the jump to the top of the Bundesliga table after the missed happy ending in the handball crime thriller against SG Flensburg-Handewitt.

“We lost a point,” said Löwen coach Martin Schwalb after the thrilling 31:31 (19:11) in the almost empty SAP Arena. And director Andy Schmid admitted, “We’re not happy.”

In the chase game with the number two, the Mannheim team conceded a lead of seven goals at the start of the second half on Sunday. “That is of course annoying,” said Schwalb. “We made too many mistakes in the second half and no longer set the pace. So the draw is reasonable.”

With 19: 3 points, the team around captain Uwe Gensheimer, who was the best pitcher with nine goals, passed the playless THW Kiel (18: 2). The record champion is currently in quarantine due to multiple positive corona cases.

Flensburg also remains third in the title race with 17: 3 points. “We can forget the first half, that was nothing. We threw a lot of balls and invited the lions for goals. The second half was excellent. Compliments to the team for the morale that they came back,” said SG coach Maik. Machulla the 60 minutes together.

The lions set off handball fireworks in the first half. From the strong Andreas Palicka returnees in goal to an aggressive defense to a powerful attack, everything worked. After twelve minutes, the Mannheimers were already seven goals ahead at 10: 3 – also because almost nothing worked for the Flensburgers.

Machulla reacted to the false start with a time-out and also sent Torbjörn Bergerud between the posts for the unlucky Benjamin Buric. That turned out to be a stroke of luck: the Norwegian gave his team more stability in the defense with several saves and was one of the decisive factors for the turnaround after the substitution.

At 8:13 p.m. shortly after the restart, the hosts seemed clearly on their way to victory, but Flensburg countered in a crazy game with a 7-0 run to 8:20 PM (38th). “Then you notice how the energy comes back,” said Machulla. In the dramatic final phase, Tobias Steinhauser rewarded the guests who had their best pitcher in Hampus Wanne (7 goals) with a converted penalty kick of seven meters in the last second.

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