Narrow Victory for PortlandArticle
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Kiel took the lead in the first half, but a better Portland defence gave them a two-goal victory. Decision on Friday.

Narrow Victory for Portland 

French goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer had a great match. Portland scored their first goal only after seven minutes – due to the many saves by Omeyer. The French goalkeeper and Kim Andersson made it possible for THW to get a three-goal lead.

Omeyer was almost unbeatable in the early minutesPortland were not able to stop the dynamic German attacks. However, Balic and Vugrinec began to attack better and speeded Portland up. The Spanish team equalised after 20 minutes and took the advantage for the first time not much before the break.

Kiel reacted before halftime and they took back the lead for halftime when it was 17-18.

Serdarusic invented a perfect tactic for Kiel, but the good performance was not enough to take a more comfortable lead. The 18 THW goals suggest that the Kiel attack prevailed over a hard Portland defence.

Svensson catches up with Omeyer

Svensson, the Swedish goalkeeper replaced Kasper for the second half in the Portland goal. It was an important change for San Antonio. The Spanish defence got stronger and Kiel were not able so score so easily.

The teams scored less than before. Especially Portland’s defending improved and they picked up two and three goals of advantage.

THW were K.O. for almost ten minutes and could not score. Svensson was brilliant, while Jorgensen, Dominikovic or Juancho Perez were more efficient in the defensive work.

Rocas was very important for Portland in the difficult moments against Omeyer in good form. Balic, Vugrinec and Nikolic also played well for Portland.

However, Omeyer was decisive again. When San Antonio were about to take a four-goal lead he made some important saves and kept Kiel in the match. Equisoain’s tactical victory in the second half (Kiel just scored ten goals in 30 minutes) was not enough to decide the semi-final. We must wait for the second leg on Friday in Oosterhalle to know the first finalist of EHF Champions League.

The game ends with a two-goal Portland advantageKjelling and Ahlm injured

Javier Equisoain was waiting for Kristian Kjelling before the match. The Norwegian player had muscular problems but he was still able play. However, Kjelling was visibly not on top because of his problem. Now, he has a week to recover and play on Friday.

Another player suffered an injury in the first half. THW’s Marcus Ahlm had to finish the match because of physical problems. His coach said at the press conference that Ahlm could hardly play in Kiel.

The injury would be a great blow for Kiel because Serdarusic only had nine field players in Pamplona. Fritz, Jeppesen and Szilágyi could not play against Portland.

In addition Juancho Perez and Kim Andersson did not finish the game because they were sent off in the second half.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi