Kielce teach Flensburg a lesson with clear win
Lomza Vive Kielce opened a three-point gap at the top of group B and edged closer to a quarter-final berth as they clinched their first win in 2022 in the EHF Champions League Men, 33:25, against SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the Match of the Week.
Flensburg lost their first game in the top European competition at home since September 2021 and are still fifth in the standings — one point ahead of HC Motor and FC Porto, where their play-off berth remains questionable.
- a 3:0 run to start the game and a 4:1 run to open the second half were the backbone for Kielce’s win — their eighth of the season in the EHF Champions League Men
- the game featured a battle between the two goalkeepers, with Flensburg’s Benjamin Buric stopping 11 shots for a 32 per cent save efficiency, while Kielce’s German shot stopper, Andreas Wolff, had 16 saves for a 40 per cent rate and earned the Player of the Match of the Week award
- this was Flensburg’s biggest home loss in the EHF Champions League Men since a 24:38 drubbing against Ciudad Real in April 2011 — a team coached by Kielce’s current mastermind, Talant Dujshebaev
- EHF EURO 2022 winners Jim Gottfridsson (two goals) and Hampus Wanne, who failed to score a goal from three shots, had a quiet evening against Kielce
- Kielce recovered from two consecutive losses and opened a three-point game at the top of the standings
- Flensburg conceded their sixth loss, representing the second-worst season in history for the German powerhouse. They are only two losses shy of the record for number of defeats in a single season — eight — set in 2016/17 and again in 2018/19
All-round effort lifts Kielce past Flensburg
As several players were ushered back into the squad after injuries, SG Flensburg-Handewitt were expecting to start an upward trend that should have seen them back into contention between the top teams in Europe. However, the German side did not start the premium European competition with a great outing in 2022, falling behind early and never taking the lead against Kielce.
The Polish champions left their issues from the last two games in 2021 behind and delivered a great all-round performance, with five players scoring at least four goals — a superb collective effort that Flensburg failed to match. Scoring six goals from six shots, left wing Dylan Nahi was unstoppable for Kielce and tied his best outing of the season.
The atmosphere at FLENS-ARENA was great today, even though it was not sold out. It is always amazing to play here. Also, I have a lot of respect for SG Flensburg-Handewitt, especially after all the injuries they have had. I knew before that it will be difficult to win here. I am satisfied with my performance today. We have played a dynamic and smart defence and my teammates gave everything for this game. My defence gave me a lot of support.