Barça Borges put in their best performance of the season at the Sparkassen Arena in Kiel to reach the European Final Four. Xavi Pascual’s team opted to go all out for a win and they will go to Cologne with their heads held high.
THW KIEL, 33
FC BARCELONA BORGES, 36
THW Kiel (15+18): Omeyer; Sprenger (3), Zeitz (2), Ahlm (8), Jicha (6), Ilic (8),
Lundström (-) -seven starting-, Palmarsson (-), Klein (3), Kubes (-), Andersson (2) and Jerome
FC Barcelona Borges (19+17): Saric; Víctor Tomás (3), Nagy (4), Noddesbo (5),
Jernemyr (-), Raúl Entrerríos (2), Juanín (4) –seven starting-, Rutenka (8), Oneto (-),
Igropulo (-), Sorhaindo (1), Sarmiento (3), Rocas (4) and Ugalde (2).
Five minute split scores: 2-3, 6-6, 8-11,10-14, 12-17, 15-19 (half time), 16-23,
19-25, 22-27, 24-32, 28-34, 33-36 (final).
Referees: Gjeding (Denmark), Hansen (Denmark) y Andorka (Hungary)
Stadium: Sparkassen Arena, Kiel
Barça took revenge for the disappointment of last season by beating the reigning European Champions
in their own back yard. This was a great win at the imposing Sparkassen Arena, achieved through
hard work and collective effort and the team fully deserve their place in the Final Four.
After a near perfect first half, it was clear that Barça were on course for a historic win.
From the opening goal by Noddesbo, Pascual’s team showed that they had not come into the game
to sit on their first leg lead, choking service to the German’s playmaker Ahlm and his wide
men, only the powerful front line of Jicha and Ilic troubled the visitors.
Keeper Saric chipped in with three great saves on the run to help Barça open up a 6-9 lead
early on and with Noddesbo continuing to dominate the German defence, that grew to 10-15, before
the host managed to claw back to 15-19 at the break. Not even Kiel’s excellent keeper Omeyer
(who made five stops in the first half) could keep out Barça’s precision attacks.
Kiel swap keepers
That half time lead was in truth much less than Barça’s domination
deserved, but they opened it to 8 goals at the start of the second. Kiel coach Alfred Gislasson
called a desperate time out and replaced the shell shocked Omeyer for Palicki, as he desperately
sought an answer to Barça’s great play. The home crowd too were growing restless and
beginning to think the unthinkable –their team might be on their way out.
Kiel made one great effort, with two quick goals, and the fans roared their support, but
Barça kept their cool and a lovely chipped goal from Entrerríos calmed their nerves. The Germans
had upped their game though and Palicki was proving much more difficult to beat. With 20 minutes
left to play, the scores sat at 20-25 and the pressure was mounting.
Pascual’s team again put a brake on the hosts’ progress though and kept their 5
point lead at 22-27 and a great stop from Saric plus good work from Juanin and two goals from
Víctor Tomás seemed to have sentenced the tie at 24-32. Although the European Champions cut that
lead down in the final minutes, nothing was going to stop Barça Borges from going into the Final