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Barça Intersport were beaten by Hamburg in extra time / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA-FCB

Hamburg are the new European Champions after Barça Intersport were defeated in extra time after coming back from a four goal deficit with six minutes left to play and so nearly winning the match with a Rutenka shot with just three seconds left to play. It was a cruel defeat for Barça who saw their chances of a ninth European title dashed in the final moments of the game.

Always ahead

The game started with both teams defending stoutly and it was soon clear that this final would appear more like Barça’s semi-final than Hamburg’s. Both keepers -Saric and Bitter - were in good form and the scores stayed close in the first half during which Barça never went behind, but were unable to stretch their lead more than 2 goals. (4-2, 5-3 and 8-6).

Rutenka and Saric, decisive

For Barça, Rutenka (with 4 from 4) and the safe looking Saric, who recorded a 50% save record and limited Lindberg to allow the team to go in 11-9 up at the break.

Saric proves his worth

Saric saved a penalty and was again decisive after the break and the team went for the counter attack whenever they could to move to a three point lead at 13-10. However the Germans hit back to draw the scores level at 13-13. Juanin was then sent off, but the team stood strong and actually fought back to lead 15-13. Then Hamburg hit back to take the lead for the first time in the game as they went 15-16 up, with Krauss coming into his own and scoring three goals to take his team 18-20 into the lead.

Superb Sterbik

Pascual then brought on Sterbik and the Barça number 1 made a great start, stopping the first three shots that came his way, with Tomas bringing the scores level at 20-20. Hamburg again lifted their game with five straight goals and only a good stop from Sterbik stopped it becoming 20-26. That was the signal for Barça to mount an amazing comeback that nearly ended in victory.

With two extra men for a few moments, Pascual’s team scored four quicjk goals to draw level at 24-24, then Hamburg went a goal up, only for Rutenka to draw Barça level again with a minute to go and then miss a great chance to win the game with three seconds to go, only for Bitter to make the save that took the game into extra-time.

Hamburg take it in extra time

Hamburg’s best player, Kraus, proved key, with two goals that gave Hamburg a two goal advantage going into the second part of extra time and although Barça had the chances to mount yet another comeback, but it wasn’t to be and this year at least, the Champions League won’t be coming to Barcelona.


STATS

Barça Intersport, 29
Hamburg, 30

Barça Intersport (11+14+1+3): Saric, Juanín García (3), Rutenka (8), Nöddesbo (3), Dani Sarmiento (2), Gurbindo (3), Víctor Tomás (7) -starting time-, Sterbik, Viran Morros, Jernemyr, Raúl Entrerríos, Montoro (1), Rocas, Stranovsky (1) i Sorhaindo (1)

Hamburg (9+16+3+2): Bitter, Lindberg (6), Marcin Lijewski (3), Duvnjak (4), Vori (2), Flohr, Jansen (2) -starting time-, Herrmann, Pascal Hens, Lackovic (2), Nilsson, Kraus (6) i Petersen (5)

Five.minutes scores: 2-1, 3-2, 6-5, 7-6, 9-8, 11-9 (half time), 13-10, 15-14, 17-18, 19-20, 21-24, 25-25 (full time), 26-28 (pròrroga 1) i 29-30 (pròrroga 2)

Àrbitres: Abrahamsen i Kristiansen

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