Kiel at the top of Europe again
THW Kiel are the first club to win the VELUX EHF FINAL4 for the third time, after 2010 and 2012. As in their first victory in Cologne, they beat Barça after an intense final, this time 33:28 on Tuesday in the LANXESS arena.
With four trophies (including 2007), Kiel are second-ranked in the title ranking, now ahead of treble winners Ciudad Real and just below record winners Barça (eight titles).
Coach Filip Jicha is the third person to win the EHF Champions League as a player and a coach after Talant Dujshebaev and Poberto Parrondo – and the first to win it with the same club, as the Czech was a crucial part of Kiel’s triumphs in 2010 and 2012.
The match winner for the Zebras was goalkeeper and current IHF Player of the Year Niklas Landin, who was on fire after the break - and now at the same time is world and Olympic champion and Champions League winner.
THW right wing Niclas Ekberg completed the 2019/20 season with 85 goals, the most of any player, while Hendrik Pekeler was named MVP of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2020.
THW Kiel (GER) vs Barça (ESP) 33:28 (19:16)
- Kiel were behind only once in the match at 2:3 and led by five goals in the middle of the second half and at the end of the match
- Kiel again produced a great defensive performance, and clearly had the better goalkeeper, as Niklas Landin saved 14 shots in total
- THW players Steffen Weinhold (2014 with Flensburg) and Domagoj Duvnjak (2013 with Hamburg) took their second trophy; for the rest of the squad it was their first ever EHF Champions League title
- Sagosen started the 2019/20 season at Paris and finished it on the winners’ podium with Kiel, just 11 months after becoming EHF EURO 2020 top scorer and bronze medallist. In the final he scored seven goals, one fewer than Niclas Ekberg
- this was the fifth victory by a German team at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and the seventh in total since 1994
- Barça lost their third final in Cologne against a German team, after losing to Kiel in 2010 and to Hamburg in 2013
- with 10 goals, Aleix Gomez was the best Barça scorer
Kiel strike back and end a German curse
Between 2017 and 2019 no German team qualified for the VELUX EHF FINAL4. Since Flensburg’s triumph in 2014, no German team had won the trophy or even made it to the final.
Now, THW Kiel were back in Cologne – and back on the winners’ podium, to finish the very special 2019/20 season on a high, as both German champions and EHF Champions League winners.
We were full of confidence that we could beat any team in the world. We had an incredible defence, just when you see that Barça scored less than 30 goals - what they usually never do. We played with full speed and when we were ahead by three, four goals we knew that we could win. We caused less mistakes than Barça and were fully focused in our heads until the very last minute.
Today I have to congratulate the team of Kiel, they play perfect. They stopped us in attack, in contra-attack, they played perfect defence with an amazing Landin.