Szeged open new arena in style
After their defeat at Aalborg, Pick Szeged showed a strong response against THW Kiel in their final EHF Champions League Men group phase match of 2021.
The Hungarian side's 30:26 win in the Match of the Week against Kiel was the perfect opening party for the new Pick Arena. Thanks to a strong team performance and goalkeeper Roland Mikler, who made 11 saves and was there when he was needed most, Szeged dominated throughout the match.
- after losing at Montpellier and Aalborg, THW Kiel suffered their third away defeat this season. This was Szeged's fourth victory in 12 matches against Kiel
- boosted by the fans in the new arena and a highly efficient attack, Szeged were constantly ahead after Sander Sagosen scored the first goal in Szeged’s new home
- powerful line player Bence Bánhidi, who received the Player of the Match award and finished as the top scorer of the match with six goals, was a key reason why Szeged led 15:11
- after Kiel had reduced the gap to 15:13, Szeged's players woke up after a time-out and took advantage of some Kiel mistakes to finish the first half with a 19:13 lead
- as Danish THW goalkeeper Niklas Landin had only saved four of 26 shots, Dario Quenstedt briefly replaced him early in the second half
- Kiel's lowest deficit in the second half was four goals. Szeged goalkeeper Roland Mikler saved many crucial shots, including a shot from Magnus Landin on a counter attack when the score was at 28:24
- three players scored five goals each: Borut Mackovsek (Szeged), Harald Reinkind and Niclas Ekberg (both Kiel)
What a start for the new Pick arena
A 34:31 victory against Vardar on 18 November was Szeged’s farewell to their old “Spori” arena after they had played all their EHF Champions League matches since 1996 there.
On Thursday evening, new history began in the brand new Pick Arena, one of the three Hungarian venues for the EHF EURO 2022.
It took only 17 minutes until all 8,143 tickets for the match against Kiel were sold – and the team paid back their loyal fans with a dominant victory.