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The Sparkassen Arena will decide (27-25)

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24.04.2011 21:11

Two goal lead to take to the Sparkassen (27-25)

Llorenç Tarrés

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.

Two goal lead to take to the Sparkassen (27-25)

Match stats

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.

2011-04-24_FC_BARCELONA_BORGES_-_THW_KIEL_14.JPGBut 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 it.

Kiel go eight minutes without scoring

2011-04-24_FC_BARCELONA_BORGES_-_THW_KIEL_26.JPGOmeyer 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.

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