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29.09.2013, 19:00
Kiel and Kielce march forward
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MATCH REPORT: Both 2013 VELUX EHF FINAL4 participants keep their perfect record in Group B, while Aalborg take their first points.

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Kiel and Kielce march forward

The home teams were more or less dominant in Sunday’s matches which brought an end to Round 2 of the VELUX EHF Champions League. While Kielce (against Porto) and Aalborg (against La Rioja) took clear victories, Kiel had a higher hurdle to clear against KIF Kolding Copenhagen.

In the fourth match of the evening, Veszprém took a dramatic and thrilling 30:29 victory against Rhein Neckar Löwen thanks to the final goal scored by Chema Rodriguez – find the additional review of this ehfTV.com Match of the Week on ehfCL.com.

An overall of six teams have a clean record after two matches: Veszprém, Kielce, Kiel, Metalurg, Flensburg and Hamburg.

Round 3 will be played from 9 to 13 October.

Group B:

THW Kiel (GER) vs. KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN) 29:26 (12:14)

Like the week before, when they took a lucky win at Plock, the THW victory against KIF was on the edge until the final minute. The Danes fought hard, but finally more depth in the squad and the freshness in the Kiel legs were the keys to victory.

Mainly the eleven goals from the outstanding Filip Jicha and the saves by goalkeeper Andreas Palicka were the hallmarks of THW's game, while on the other hand, Kasper Hvidt (17 saves, just like Palicka) showed his strength between the KIF goalposts and Swedish left back Lukas Karlsson scored nine times.

The first half had been equal, and Kolding Copenhagen took a two goal lead to the dressing room thanks to a strong final few minutes.  Despite KIF making a big number of mistakes in attack, it took until the 40th minute for Kiel to take their first lead after the break at 19:17. Even a red card for Christian Zeitz (pictured) after his third suspension did not shake Kiel.

KIF waited for their chances and when former THW right back Kim Andersson entered the court with just 13 minutes to play, his excellent passes paved the way to a close finish. However, they were unable to make the most of their many chances and could not pull level. Finally, a penalty goal by Niklas Ekberg made it 28:26 and decided the match.

KIF remain on two points, while Kiel top the group with four points, level with Kielce.

KS Vive Targi Kielce (POL) vs. FC Porto Vitalis (POR) 35:23 (16:13)

Another easy-going home match for Kielce, even easier than the game against Dunkerque in round 1. After the clear defeat at Kolding the week before, Porto again were taught another lesson at this level. The Portuguese champions withstood the pressure for 28 minutes, when the score was 14:12, but then the Poles accelerated and were backed by the brilliant saves of goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal.

Porto lost their momentum and concentration in the second half, when Kielce stormed ahead to 25:16 in the space of only ten minutes. This lead did not satisfy the Polish side and they pushed ahead to a ten goal lead at 33:23.

Like at the defeat to Kolding in round 1, Porto only scored ten times in the second half. The game's top scorers were Michal Jurecki (Kielce) and Gilberto Duarte (Porto) with six goals each.

“For me personally it was more important what we had shown on the court than what the final result was. We were not effective enough in the first half, so it was very important to keep the three goals distance at the break,” said Kielce coach Bogdan Wenta.

For Porto counterpart Ljubomir Obradovic, “Kielce are one of the favourites for winning the Champions League. Today we played without three important injured players, but still played well in the first half. This is the first season in the comeptition for Porto, we have to gain some experience with games against teams with the quality of Kielce.”

Group D:

Aalborg Handball (DEN) vs. Naturhouse La Rioja (ESP) 28:24 (16:10)

Aalborg took their first victory in the group phase with a relatively comfortable game against Spanish side La Rioja, who remain on zero points after two matches.

The Danes ahad all but decided the game at the break and were able to hold off a clear improvement from the Spaniards in the second half. Led by the brilliant Morten Slunt, who scored five of his six goals in the first 30 minutes, and a strong defence performance, Aalborg were away by 14:8 after only 25 minutes and kept this distance thanks to a scoring percentage of 85 until the break.

The main character in the squad of coach Nicolaj Jakobson was Norwegian goalkeeper Ole Erevik, who saved an incredible of 23 shots.

La Rioja were clearly weaker in all departments and were running out of options, just like in round 1 against Hamburg. Although the Spaniards improved in defence after the break and were backed by the goals of Aidenas Malasinskas, the hosts victory was never in doubt. After going 23:15 ahead in minute 45, scored by the highly efficient Mads Mensah Larsen (top Aalborg scorer with eight goals), the winner was confirmed.

La Rioja did not surrender, but could only manage to reduce the gap to four goals at the end and will have to wait for their first points in the competition.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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