The Borussia Dortmund women's handballers have emerged from their top match against HSG Bensheim/Auerbach as 31-28 (15-13) winners. BVB shone at Sporthalle Wellinghofen thanks to an impressive defensive performance and a strong display from Tess Lieder in goal.

The scenario: Following their narrow 26-25 defeat in Blomberg five days ago, Borussia were facing their second top match in the space of a week against HSG Bensheim/Auerbach. The match against the Hesse outfit had originally been scheduled for 17 January, but had to be postponed due to a severe weather warning.

Personnel matters: Dana Bleckmann and Lena Degenhardt were still sidelined with cruciate ligament ruptures. Alicia Stolle was on the bench, but had yet to make an appearance following her bone sprain. Carmen Campos Costa, meanwhile, was ruled out with illness.

The match & analysis: The importance of this match for both teams was clear right from the start. Both BVB and the visitors from Bensheim were noticeably nervous. After going behind early on, it was Lena Hausherr who scored the important goal to reduce the deficit to 2-1 in the sixth minute of the match. Despite trailing 4-3, the Black & Yellows managed to keep opponent Kim Naidzinavicius under control. Dortmund's defence, with a strong Tess Lieder between the sticks, held firm and went about their business courageously.

Harma van Kreij, who has recently been suffering with a hand injury, made it 7-5 in the 15th minute before Lisa Antl increased the lead to 9-5 three minutes later after a beautiful pass from Frida Rønning from the circle. HSG coach Heike Ahlgrimm called a time-out after the visitors missed several chances. Kim Naidzinavicius reduced the deficit to 12-11 with a seven-metre throw five minutes before the break, before Lisa Friedberger equalised a few seconds later to make it 12-12.

As the game progressed, Tess Lieder saved chance after chance. In attack, the strong Harma van Kreij (four goals by the break), Emma Olsson and the speedy Frida Rønning increased the lead to 15-13 at the interval. Henk Groener could be satisfied with his team's display.

BVB set the tone after the restart and upped the lead to 19-16 after four minutes through Lisa Antl (34). It became a furious affair in which BVB took a four-goal lead thanks to a counter-attack by Haruno Sasaki (23-19). Bensheim opened up their defence in the closing stages. That allowed Zoë Sprengers to increase the lead to 26-21 from the left (48). Five minutes before full-time, BVB goalkeeper Sarah Wachter was able to save an attempt from Amelie Berger. Wachter saved another shot in the final minute – this time from Kim Naidzinavicius – to seal a narrow 31-28 victory.

Trainer Henk Groener: "I'm proud of the team because we put in a great performance despite Carmen's absence. We fought, patiently played out many attacks and took advantage of our chances. We urgently needed the points in the race for an international spot."

Lisa Antl: "The result makes me really proud. We mobilised our last ounces of strength to compensate for Carmen's absence."

Outlook: Next Saturday will see Henk Groener's team play host to HSV Solingen-Gräfrath, who are 12th in the table and battling against relegation. Throw-off is at 19:00 CET.

Women's handball team: Lieder, Wachter; Hausherr (1), Sprengers (7/1), Kusian (1), Antl (5), van Kreij (5), Stolle, Ossenkopp (1), Sasaki (6), Olsson (1), Rønning (4), Schwarz