The fourth matchday of the EHF European League group stages will see the Borussia Dortmund women's handball team take on French side Besancon in Hamm. The place where they claimed an emotional victory in the very last second against Molde Elite four weeks ago and where they will hopefully clinch a place in the quarter-finals of the competition on Sunday (5/2).
The games are currently coming thick and fast for the Black & Yellows: DHB-Pokal, Bundesliga, European League – with a three-day gap in between. Two weeks ago, a strong performance away to ES Besancon Feminin earned a hugely important victory. Now Henk Groener and his players want to go one better: for another win against the French outfit would not only bring in two more points, but also give Borussia the edge in the head-to-head battle.
It will be anything but a walk in the park, though. Having been knocked out of the cup in Bensheim a week ago, not everything went smoothly in Leverkusen on Wednesday. "We made their goalkeeper look like a world champion," said the coach directly afterwards. The game was too chaotic, even if the team dealt with it better over the course of the match. "We unfortunately could not completely cut it out. There was a certain uncertainty after the defeat in Bensheim," he admitted. But the fact 35 goals were scored and a spate of big opportunities were spurned attests to the attacking potential.
They were efficient in the reverse fixture two weeks ago in Besancon. "The first quarter of an hour was like a dream. We need to draw confidence from that," said Groener, referring to the opening phase in France. "We certainly surprised them a bit there and we quickly led 10-2. But then we saw it quickly reduced to 10-7 to us," he warned, adding that another top performance will be needed to beat Besancon again.
Harma van Kreij is still unavailable to play. However, she is edging ever closer to her comeback and is aiming to return soon. Sunday will be too soon, however.