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17.02.2016, 21:24
Landin and Duvnjak secure lucky win for THW Kiel
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GROUP A REVIEW: Plock hand victory to Germans by missing three penalties in the last eight minutes.
 

Landin and Duvnjak secure lucky win for THW Kiel

With a double strike in the last 18 seconds to make it 26:24, THW Kiel avoided their second VELUX EHF Champions League defeat in the space of three days after their devastating 37:27 defeat at SG Flensburg-Handewitt in Round 11.

THW were lucky to take the two points against Orlen Wisla Plock and with the win, they consolidate fourth position in Group A.

Despite a great performance from goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales and thanks to three failed penalty shots in the final stages, Plock lost their fourth straight group match - and again missed the chance to clinch a berth for the Last 16 as they lie sixth in the group, three points ahead of RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko.

Group A

THW Kiel (GER) vs. Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 26:24 (14:14)

Goalkeeper Niklas Landin (44% save rate) and centre back Domagoj Duvnjak were the match winners for Kiel and, like against MVM Veszprem in December, Dominik Klein scored the winning strike for the injury-hit German champions, but, unusually for the left wing, it was a hammer shot from the back court 18 seconds before the end.

“This is a goal I had dreamt of,” Klein said after the game before dedicating the win to the fans. “They pushed us ahead, even though we had disappointed them against Flensburg - we still had this defeat in our heads [tonight].”

Kiel’s coach Alfred Gislason said it was a “win of will and luck”, before adding, “in our situation we have no easy matches anymore.”

On the other side, Plock Head Coach Manuel Cadenas was highly disappointed. After losing the EHF EURO 2016 final to Germany as coach of Spain, he made it an unlucky double as his side lost against a German side again. “A draw would have been deserved,” said Cadenas after the loss to the German champions, “but those missed penalties and the performance of Niklas Landin decided the match.”

The only time Kiel were in the lead before the break was at 1:0 and after this the three-time EHF Champions League winners had enormous problems in attack.

Firstly, Plock defended extremely aggressive and movable - highlighted by Domagoj Duvnjak’s ripped shirt after only three minutes and, secondly, Kiel caused too many unforced errors and turnovers.

Corrales won the goalkeeper duel against Landin in the first 20 minutes and, as a consequence of that, combined with a great tactical adaption in attack, Plock took the upper hand, to lead 9:5. After seven minutes without any goal on both sides, Kiel brought the scores back level, for the first time since the third minute, at 11:11.

The deadlock remained until half-time thanks to the ‘Balkan Connection’ of THW - as Croatians Duvnjak and Ilija Brozovic combined with the Serbian Marko Vujin to score 12 of the 14 Kiel goals before the break.

Right after the break, Igor Anic netted for the second THW lead in the match (15:14) with a spectacular lob over Corrales but for the next 15 minutes, the scoring percentage on both sides was extremely low.

One reason was the great performances of Corrales and Landin, and the other was the high number of easy mistakes like technical faults or missed passes.

Everybody watching could see that both teams still lacked confidence after their clear defeats in Round 11.

With the score still equal at 17:17, Gislason took his next team time out, but nothing changed and thanks to a 4:1 scoring series within the next eight minutes, Plock took the lead again at 19:18.

“It hurts to see my team struggle like this,” said injured EHF EURO champion Christian Dissinger on German TV station Sky in the middle of the second half and he was not only the only THW Kiel fan thinking that.

With six minutes to play, the hosts were down by 21:23. Only Duvnjak was unstoppable, firing from all cylinders.

Plock missed the chance to decide the match early as they failed twice from the penalty mark within six minutes. The punishment for the miss was inevitable - another equaliser to make it 24:24 came from Duvnjak and his ninth strike and this was then followed by the next missed Plock penalty when Landin saved Tiago Rocha one minute before the end.

And with 18 seconds left, Dominik Klein struck home to make it 25:24 and force a final team time out from Plock, who put on a seventh court player for their last attack to salvage a draw, but the Poles caused a turnover and Duvnjak rolled the ball into the empty net to score from 30 metres to ensure the two points stayed in Germany.


TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc
 
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