In the big match in the Handball Bundesliga Women, Borussia Dortmund won 30-29 (14-16) away at Thüringer HC on Easter Sunday. In the last action of the game, BVB goalkeeper Tess Lieder pulled off a stunning save to secure two important points for her and her teammates in the fight for Europe and second place in the table.

The scenario: Bensheim's loss on Saturday opened the door for Borussia to consolidate second place in the table with an away win in Thuringia. THC had played one game less and were just one point behind the Dortmund women. The Black & Yellows had lost the reverse fixture 33-25.

Personnel matters: With the exception of the long-term injury absentees Dana Bleckmann and Lena Degenhardt, Henk Groener was able to call upon his full squad for the big match.

The match: Going into the match, everyone expected a game played at a high pace, and the opponents did not have to be asked twice to show what they could do, right from the start. In an end-to-end encounter, BVB came out on top in the early stages, and found themselves 5-1 up after five minutes. THC coach Herbert Müller took his first time-out to reset his team's concentration. BVB keeper Sarah Wachter in particular was giving the Thuringian women cause for concern early on with an excellent performance.

BVB managed to score quick goals thanks to the high pace and the resulting crossings. After the time-out break, THC were more compact and made life much harder for the Black & Yellows. Johanna Reichert repeatedly picked holes in the Dortmund defence for the Thuringian women, so the hosts took the lead for the first time at 7-6 after a Dortmund sin-bin.

It was a spectacular game of handball. After a penalty throw from Lena Hausherr, the ball stuck to the hall floor because of too much resin in front of the goal line, after the ball had taken a slight deflection off the impressive Dinah Eckerle. In the middle of the first half, BVB coach Henk Groener took his first time-out, and focused his speech on Thuringia's Reichert: "Show her on to her weaker hand and then double-team her," he demanded of his defence.

As a result, not only Reichert had less success, but the game was riddled with a number of mistakes and mis-throws on both sides. At the same time, both teams showed great passion and fight. The 1,418 spectators became increasingly loud and the fans in the stands whipped THC up into a frenzy and a resulting half-time lead (16-14).

After the break, Henk Groener started with Tess Lieder in the goal – and the decision proved to be spot on. Some of the fans in Bad Langensalza could have been forgiven for thinking they were watching a tennis match at times, as the pace of the back-and-forth game was staggering. Carmen Campos broke through to equalise at 21-21 on 41 minutes, before Mareike Kusian gave BVB the lead shortly afterwards.

It was the close and exciting encounter that everyone had hoped for going into the game. And in the end, it all came down to 40 seconds at the end that decided the big game: Harma van Kreij went through one-on-one and fired through the hands of the goalkeeper to give BVB a 30-29 with just 28 seconds to go. Thüringen brought on a seventh outfield player and Tess Lieder defused a free throw from Kerstin Kündig from half-court to give Borussia a much-celebrated victory.

Coach Henk Groener: "We got off to a great start, but then we lost our way after the first ten minutes. In the second half, we were always just behind them and eventually managed our own lead. Lisa Antl is always an option in the attack who actually always guarantees us a goal when she has the ball. But today, the entire team put in a really good performance in this heated atmosphere. We had already discussed the last scene in training and it is of course great that we are able to get the victory like that."

Lisa Antl: "A top match between the two clubs, and it was great fun. Both goalkeepers did their things really well. Tess ended up just having the happier moment with the last save. I personally had a good day, which I am very happy about."

Outlook: Now there is a long international break with European Championship and Olympic qualifiers. Borussia Dortmund will not be back in action in the league until 20 April, when they take on Neckarsulmer SU.

BVB Handball Women: Lieder, Wachter; Hausherr (1), Sprengers (2/1), Kusian (1), Antl (6), van Kreij (5), Stolle (4), Ossenkopp (1), Sasaki (5), Olsson, Rønning, Campos (5)