No Mistakes Allowed for PortlandArticle
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It willl be a decisive match in Kiel with only two goals of advantage for the Spanish team. Injuries cause problems on both sides, and Xepkin returns to international level.

No Mistakes Allowed for Portland

Portland are already in Kiel. The team of coach Equisoain know that the only way to reach the final is through a victory.

The two goals are slight difference; this match will be decisive. It is a historic chance to reach the final for the fourth time in the club’s history and to repeat the historic victory against Kiel back in 1999. There are no players left in Portland from that period, but coach Equisoain and the goalkeepers’ trainer Buligan remember how to win in the Ostseehalle.

Kjelling finds Nikolic - their combination will be important in KielKjelling will play again

The Norwegian player was in doubt on the Portland side, but he is okay now. Kjelling was not 100%, but he played the first leg as well. His performance was not as good as it used to be, because the Norwegian international felt pain during the game.

This week Kjelling was trying to heal this muscular injury, but he will not care about it and play again with some pain. Though he may not be in top condition, but Kjelling shows absolutely professional attitude.

Xepkin returns

The return of the former Spanish national player Andrei Xepkin caused general surprise in Pamplona. He will replace the injured Kiel pivot, Marcus Ahlm.

Xepkin played memorable games against Portland in Spain and in Europe as well. However, the signing of the pivot by THW was not so surprising for Tomas Svensson. The Swedish goalkeeper was the hero of Portland in the first leg. He played with Xepkin five seasons.

Xepkin (on the right) returns for the cup from retirement“He is really a friend of mine. Perhaps Xepkin was a surprise for everybody, but I’m sure that he is absolutely fit and able to play. However, there are no players that you know for sure that they are going to play perfectly”.

The 25-year old Catalonian winger, Albert Rocas, has a different point of view:

“When I was younger, I watched him playing in Palau Blaugrana with Barcelona, so it will be a very special experience”.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi