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Date: 8/29/2013

German side HSV Hamburg took the next hurdle in an unexpected clear manner: The Champions League winner clashed Etoile Sportive du Sahel easily by 36:22 (16:9) in the first semi-final of the IHF Super Globe in Doha, Qatar, and proved their ambitions for the final on Friday. Their competitor will be decided later in the second semi of FC Barcelona vs. El-Jaish. In contrast to their previously strong performances the Tunisians were chanceless against the highly strong Hamburg side.

Semi-final 1:

Etoile Sportive du Sahel (TUN) HSV Hamburg (GER) 22:36 (9:16)

From the first minute on, Hamburg was much more focused and concentrated compared to their previous matches – the rest day was a source of power for the Germans, who had adapted perfectly to their competitors. Additionally they were boosted by the late arrival of their last season’s top scorer Hans Lindberg, who arrived yesterday in Doha. Lindberg scored four goals before the break – but the main reason for the clear 16:9 lead after 30 minutes was the extra-ordinary defence performance. Hamburg had built-up a solid rock wall of concrete including a tremendous goalkeeper Marcus Cleverly, who saved the incredible number of 13 Sahel shots in the first half – and an overall of 23.

Based on this defence Hamburg easily took the lead initially and were away by four goals for the first time at 10:6, causing a time-out of Tunisian coach Sami Saidi. But his team hardly managed to get through the defence, except Ali Zeinelabedin, who was the best Sahel scorer with finally seven goals on his tally.

The Tunisian upswing was very short in the opening period of the second half: Sahel hoped to turn the match around at 13:18, but in only a few minutes, Hamburg even managed to increase the distance to double-figures even at 24:14, thanks to a highly strong Lindberg performance on the right wing.

From that moment latest the match was decided, but Hamburg still gave 100 percent to take on the right rhythm for the final, while the Tunisians had resigned. All Hamburg field players, who had been on the court, were in the final scorer list.

Statements after the match:

Martin Schwalb, coach HSV Hamburg: Everybody saw that the cooperation of defence and goalkeeper is the most important thing in handball – this was the key to our success. We are really happy to be in the final. We had great respect for the Tunisians, but in the end, we were the better team.

Hans Lindberg, player HSV Hamburg: We had shown the right attitude towards the strong Tunisian team. We know the qualities of their players from the national team, but we presented us as a team. Now I hope to win the title tomorrow.

Sami Saiodi, coach Etoile Sportive du Sahel: This match had clearly shown the situation in which we are and in which Hamburg was. They were perfectly prepared on us and showed a strong goalkeeping and defence performance. We had reached our main goal to proceed to the semi, and now we are aiming to be successful tomorrow.

Mohamed Tajouri, player Etoile Sportive du Sahel: It was like running against a wall for us and we proudly congratulate Hamburg for their performance. Despite the final result it were wonderful 60 minutes to improve and develop for the future.