|23.11.2016, 21:00||◄ last page|
GROUP A REVIEW: Flensburg beaten on home ground, after strong first half of THW.
Kiel show their second face and take revenge
After two straight defeats, THW Kiel are back on track in the VELUX EHF Champions League. The three-time winners of Europe’s elite competition took a close 26:25 win at their neighbours and are only one point behind Flensburg.
SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs. THW Kiel (GER) 25:26, 13:17
The match was initially delayed five minutes because of technical problems with the score board. First, the hosts played in the same efficient style as on Sunday and during the 37:27 group phase win against Kiel in the previous season.
But when the engines of ‘Mr. Hammer’ Christian Zeitz had started, the match turned around completely. “We did not have the means to stop him,” was the half-time reaction of Flensburg’s manager, Dierk Schmäschke, speaking to the five-goals from the right back. After the break, Zeitz was forced to leave the court quite early.
In contrast to Sunday’s match, the SG goalkeepers didn’t have a good day, regardless of whether Kevin Moller or Mattias Andersson were between the posts. “We have played with a much higher intensity,” commented Kiel’s manager, Thorsten Storm, after the first half to Germany’s TV station, Sky. With the score 14:10 in the sold-out Flens-Arena, Kiel was already up by four goals and it had appeared that both Northern German rivals had changed sides from the previous game.
Schmäschke expected this would be a “truly tough task” to reduce the gap, but his side proved that he was wrong. After scoring a 5:1 run within the first six minutes after the break to tie the match at 18, Flensburg made their fans go crazy and forced THW coach, Alfred Gislason, to take his timeout.
When leading 23:22, Kiel seemed to be in trouble. First, the Croatian defence specialist, Igor Brozovic, received his third suspension and thus, was sent off to the tribune with a red card. Then, Kiel had a substitution mistake and suddenly, they were at a two-man disadvantage. But what was THW’s reaction? Domagoj Duvnjak hammered in for the 24:22 and when the number of players was equal again, Nikola Bilyk, who had missed the first leg on Sunday due to an injury, even extended the margin to three goals.
The final stage became thrilling and hectic. Kiel played risky by adding an additional court player and were punished by Flensburgs’ goals.. twice! In general, the hosts missed too many clear chances. Due to several offensive fouls committed by Flensburg, the number of turnovers continued to rise.
“I am proud of my team after the terrible last minutes we played on Sunday,” said Gislason, adding, “I am happy with this victory, but had to pay a high price for it with the injuries of Weinhold and Zeitz.”
On the other hand, SG coach Ljubomir Vranjes was “highly disappointed with our performance in the first half. Later on, we fought well, but still caused too many mistakes.”
TEXT: Björn Pazen/tm