Borussia Dortmund's women's handball team picked up their fifth win in six games. After a four-week break for the European Championship, BVB got back into action with a 31-29 (16-16) victory over TuS Metzingen. In the Hammer Westpress Arena, the Black & Yellows overcame a three-goal deficit in the closing stages of the game to secure a well-deserved 31-29 win.

The scenario: BVB, third in the table with 8:2 points after five games, were within touching distance of the top of the table, while TuS Metzingen were in ninth place with 4:6 points.

Personnel matters: Harma van Kreij unfortunately had to withdraw from the European Championships with a knee injury and will not play again this year. Lyna Schwarz jumped up from the second team squad to make her debut appearance for the first team.

The game: BVB got off to a perfect start in coach Henk Groener's first game in charge. With just five minutes on the clock, the scoreboard read 3-0. The team were aggressive in defence, always getting back quickly in transition. After just eleven minutes, Metzingen coach Werner Bösch was forced to call his first time-out. Bösch called for more determination in one-on-one situations, as BVB had won almost all of them up to that point. After 13 minutes, Dana Bleckmann increased the lead to 9-5, but after that it got quieter in the Westpress Arena in Hamm, where BVB had relocated on Sunday. Emma Olsson had to tread carefully in the interior after receiving two time penalties early in the game.

Metzingen kept plugging away and fought their way back into the game, in no small part thanks to an effective 5:1 defensive system. The ninth-placed team clawed back goal after goal, and won the period between the 20th and 30th minutes by a score of 7-3. BVB, for their part, missed a lot of good chances, but were also thwarted time and time again by the outstanding Metzingen goalkeeper Rebecca Nilsson. In the 27th minute, Lena Degenhardt brought the score to 15-14, while 35 seconds before the half-time whistle, Poland international Magda Balsam levelled the game at 16-16.

In the second half, the Black & Yellows soon found themselves 23-20 down. Groener called a time-out, as he pressed his team to keep a more compact shape in defence. The changes seemed to work, as goals from Emma Olsson (44) and Alina Grijseels (45) brought BVB to within a score at 25-24. Before long, the scores were back level, as Lena Hausherr scored from a seven-metre penalty in the 52nd minute to make it 27-27. 

The game was on a knife edge. While the BVB defence continued to improve, Metzingen started to tire. Goals from Bleckmann and Sprengers gave Dortmund a 29-27 lead, before Lisa Hausherr converted her third seven-metre penalty (57) to make it 30-28. The game was put to bed in the 58th minute, when Sara Garovic found the back of the net to make it 31-28. It was hard work at times, but the side's fifth win of the season was secure. 

Outlook: The Black & Yellows are next in action on Wednesday, 30 November, when they travel to face HSG Blomberg-Lippe in the third round of the DHB-Pokal. The action in the Ulmenallee sports hall will get underway at 19:00 CET. Next weekend, both the home and the away games in the third and final qualification round for the group phase of the EHF European League will take place. The opponents are ZRK Zeleznicar from Serbia.  The first leg is on 3 December (12:00 CET). The return fixture will follow one day later, on 4 December, starting at 11:00 CET. Both games will take place in the Helmut-Körnig-Halle.

Reactions: Yara ten Holte: "We started well, but then started to make some stupid mistakes. That meant it was tense right until the end. We've only had one team training session since the European Championship break, so our timing was a bit off. That's why I'm happy that we won. We showed that we can fight."

BVB women: Moth, ten Holte; Grijseels (4), Sprengers (4), Kusian (1), Antl (3), , Ossenkopp (3), Olsson (3), Rønning (3), Stens, Bleckmann (4), Hausherr (4/3), Garovic (2)