Champions League

Kiel is VELUX EHF Champions League winner

photo: thwkiel
Kiel is VELUX EHF Champions League winner

VELUX EHF FINAL 4, Cologne

Lanxess Arena

THW Kiel – Barca 33 – 28 (19 – 16)

Referees: Gubica, Milosevic (CRO)

Topscorers: Ekberg 8, Sagosen 7, Weindhold 5, Dahmke 5, Pekeler 4 (Kiel) and Gomez 10, Mem 4, Arino 4 (Barca)

Facts before the final:

  • the two finalists have won a combined eleven EHF Champions League trophies: Barça have won the title eight times and Kiel three times
  • while Barça cruised through their semi-final by beating Paris 37:32, Kiel needed extra time to leave Veszprém behind 36:35 on Monday night
  • he winners will be the first side to win the trophy for the third time at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne, as Barça were winners in 2011 and 2015 and Kiel won in 2010 and 2012
  • Barça coach Xavi Pascual can become the fourth coach in EHF Champions League history to win three trophies after Valero Rivera (5), Talant Dujshebaev (4), and Alfred Gislason (3)

Barca was the clear favorite before the final, due to their wide squad and the fact that they are spared injuries. On the other hand, Kiel has missing Bylik and M.Landin. However the match started with a better Kiel performance, the Germans had the lead during the entire first half. Leading 6-4, 10-8, then 13-9 they seemed to have control over Barca, which seemed to not have the same flow as in the semifinal. Sanders Sagosen, Pekeler, Dahmke, or Ekberg made it to happen in attack and had a great defense. They were needed to make some changes as Sagosen got two suspensions already in the first ten minutes, but head coach Jicha managed to solve this well. Barca had Mem, Fabregas, and Gomez in attack and none of the teams had a good goalkeeper play. Halftime: 19-16.

I the second half Niklas Landin has stepped up with an outstanding performance, forbidding Barca to get into the match. The German offensive play was clever and Sagosen, Pekeler, Dahmke, Ekberg, and especially Weindhold made an excellent match, in addition, they put a lot of energy into their defense and Barca looked powerless in most of the things they tried to pull out. Cindric was the most dangerous player for the Spanish team in attack, but they did not have the power to come back into the match. Final result: 33 – 28.

MVP of the VELUX EHF FINAL 4: Hendrik Pekeler (Kiel)

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Champions League

Hungarian living in Norway with a great passion for handball, primarly women handball. Travels all over the world to follow handball matches and tournaments and to write good articles on this website.

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