Barça Borges have a small but valuable lead to defend in their handball Champions League quarter final against THW Kiel, and next week will be playing for a place in the Final Four.
FC BARCELONA BORGES, 27
THW KIEL, 25
FC Barcelona Borges (14+13): Saric (Sjöstrand ps), Noddesbo (5), Juanín García (1),
Víctor Tomás (3), Raúl Entrerriós (2), Sorhaindo (-), Sarmiento (-), Ugalde, Iker Romero (2), Nagy
(5), Jernemyr, Rutenka (6, 2p), Albert Rocas (2, 2p), Oneto (-), Igropulo (1).
THW Kiel (15+10): Omeyer (Palicka ps) Andersson (1), Dragicevic (-), Sprenger (2),
Ahlm (3), Kubes (-), Reichmann (-), Zeitz (2), Palmarsson (-), Narcisse (-), Ilic (5, 2p), Klein
(3), Jicha (5) and Jerome Fernández (4).
Five-minute periods: 2-1, 4-5, 5-6, 9-11, 11-13, 14-15 (half-time) 15-15, 18-17,
21-20, 24-21, 25-23, 27-25 (final)
Referees: Abrahamsen (NOR) and Kristiansen (NOR)
Two minute exclusions Noddesbo (2 cops), Nagy and Sarmiento (FCB), and Sprenger, Kubes, Zeitz
and Jerome Fernandez (KIE)
The Palau was packed to see Barça take on the defending champions Kiel, with the onlookers
including Regal Barça coach, Xavi Pascual, guard Jaka Lakovic, and Barça Alsuport captain, Javi
Rodríguez. Barça Borges have done the first part of the job as they bid for a place in Cologne. To
be the best you have to beat the best and they did just that against the German giants. But that
was just the first leg, and all will be decided next Sunday.
The first half was intense, if not always pretty, and Kiel led at the break by a single goal.
But especially thanks to a wonderful Saric, Barça responded in the second half hour, and take a
two-goal lead to Germany.
THW Kiel make early progress
The early goals came from two Rocas penalties, which showed that the two sides set
out strong stalls in defence, while Kiel looked to have suffered an early setback when Filip Jicha
was seen to be nursing a hand injury.
But Kiel have extraordinary strength in depth. Ilic and Zeitz conspired
to edge their side ahead at 3-5 and from here until the break, Alfred Gislasson’s side was
always ahead. Kiel keeper Omeyer and his defence were simply astounding, especially to deny two
golden opportunities for Juanín that kept the visitors in command at 6-8.
Barça Borges just weren’t finding their rhythm, and also squandered too many of the
chances they did get. Two goals from Jerome stretched the deficit to four goals (11-15) and Barça
Borges just didn’t know how to deal with the 6-0 system deployed by the Germans. It was the
sin-binning of Jerome that gave Barcelona new hope, and they quickly came back to 14-15. Kiel had
been the better team up to this point, but at half-time, the Catalans were suddenly right back in
Kiel go eight minutes without scoring
Omeyer started the second half with two important saves, including one
from an Iker penalty, but Víctor Tomás finally got things back level. Daniel Saric and Rutenka then
put Barça Borges back in the lead (16-15) against a Kiel side that took eight minutes to get their
first goal in the second half.
Even so, the Germans still managed to equalise the match, before Barça made it 22-21 and then
24-21. But within a flash Kiel once again bounced back to 24-23.
But with the home crowd buoying Xavi Pascual’s side, and Saric producing some
sensational handball, FCB managed to end the game with a small lead to defend in the second leg. It
could have been three, but Klein beat the buzzer to grab an important goal for Kiel, and now
everything is left to be decided in Germany next Sunday.