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19.11.2017, 19:20
Flensburg easy, Kiel lucky as German sides take all points on Sunday
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GROUP B REVIEW: Brest are left chanceless in Flensburg, while Ekberg’s buzzer beater in Celje earns THW their first away victory
 

Flensburg easy, Kiel lucky as German sides take all points on Sunday

Both German sides took victories on Sunday night when Round 8 of the VELUX EHF Champions League Group B concluded. While SG Flensburg-Handewitt passed Veszprém to become the new second-ranked side (behind PSG) with an easy win against HC Meshkov Brest, THW Kiel jumped from seventh to fifth position after their lucky strike in Celje.

• Flensburg take their fourth win against Brest in the fourth ever head-to-head duel
• Brest still wait for their first point against a German team after three losses this season
• The total number of goals in the Flensburg versus Meshkov clash – 67 – equals the highest of any Group A or B game so far in 2017/18
• In Celje, the same number of goals are scored on Sunday (55) as in the first clash
• Niklas Ekberg top scores in Celje with seven goals, including the winners’ strike for Kiel


GROUP B
RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) vs THW Kiel (GER) 27:28 (14:15)

The half-time result on Sunday evening was exactly the same as in the first leg in Kiel, as THW were ahead by 15:14. Once again, the hosts put up a great fight against the three-time Champions League winners, but this time were defeated.

"We knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t expect that Celje can play two matches like this with all the injuries they have. But this is sport, we scored in the last seconds and of course we are very happy to win two points here," said Kiel's Miha Zarabec, who played for Celje for three seasons before moving to Germany, after the match.

Kiel had the better start in the goal parade in the beginning. After 12 minutes, the score was already 9:4 for the ‘Zebras’, before Celje managed their comeback. It took a while, but after the 9:13, the hosts strengthened their defence and forced Kiel to make many mistakes.

Thanks to three unanswered goals, Celje came close before the break – and right afterwards levelled the result at 15:15.

The ‘Floriani’ fans in the stands went crazy when youngster Tilen Kodrin netted for Celje’s first advantage at 19:18. But it was Celje’s only lead in the second half.

Backed by their physically strong line player Patrick Wiencek and Niclas Ekberg’s penalty goals, Kiel were steadily in front by one to two.

With less than five minutes left, Gal Marguc grabbed the chance to decrease the distance to one, 25:26. In the last minutes when Kiel were ahead 27:26, both coaches took their time-outs.

Kiel missed their chance and Branko Vujovic netted for the equaliser, though Celje had a one-man disadvantage. Finally, Ekberg struck a second before the final buzzer to earn Kiel their first away win of the season.

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) 37:30 (20:13)

Four goals difference from the 28:32 against PSG was previously the biggest gap for Brest in this VELUX EHF Champions League season so far, but on Sunday they were hit hard by SG Flensburg-Handewitt in a one-sided duel.

After leading 9:7, Flensburg took full control of the match, overrunning the Belarusian champions with counter attack goals or hammer shots from right back Holger Glandorf. The game was already decided with the 20:13 half-time result.

The margin reached 10 goals four times. Only in the final stages were Brest able to reduce the gap a little.

Those 37 goals were the highest score in a Group A or B match so far, alongside the 37:30 win for Barcelona in Plock. The two left-handed stars, Glandorf (nine goals) and Lasse Svan (seven), were Flensburg’s top scorers, while Brest’s Petar Djordjic tallied four on the return to his former club.

SG player Simon Jeppsson was “very satisfied with this win and the way we beat Brest,” while Holger Glandorf added: “We had to replace some injured players such as Rasmus Lauge today, so it was a matter of team spirit and will to win. We proved what we are able to do when we act as a team. We have tough weeks ahead, so we are happy that we could even rotate in the final stages.”


TEXT: Bjorn Pazen / cg
 
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