Road to the FinalArticle
«Go back

The decisive games of the CL are coming up. Go through the road of the two German finalists from the group phase to the final.

Road to the Final

Flensburg will face Kiel on Sunday in the first leg of the Champions League final. This will be the first time that two German sides play for the trophy.

The teams, however, are not new in the CL finals. Kiel played against Barcelona in 2000, Flensburg against Celje in 2004, but both times the Germans lost the decisive games. The only German CL winner are Magdeburg so far.

Qualification from the difficult group was reason to celebrateJust a couple of days before the final, let us see once again the road that took Flensburg and Kiel this far…

The Road of Flensburg

Group D

The team of the German town close to the Danish border were drawn in Group D, where Russian Medvedi, Croatian Zagreb and the Macedonian Skopje were waiting for them. It was probably the strongest CL group, but Flensburg showed convincing performance.

Their only defeat came in the last round against a Chehovskie Medvedi - a team that gives the base of the Russian national team.

Celje Pivovarno Lasko

The away match in Celje was the most difficult so far... The draw was not quite lucky for the Germans after the group stage. The next opponent was Slovenian Celje that defeated Flensburg in the final of CL 2003/04. It was time for revenge, but qualification seemed to be impossible after the first leg. The Slovenians won by 10 goals at home .

“The difference between us and Celje was that they played like a team; we played individually, so the result says everything. But I know the atmosphere in our hall will be good and I can hope to make up the result,” said Lars Christiansen after the serious defeat.

The Danish left winger was the best of his team in the away game and he had great part in Flensburg’s qualification after a ten-goal home victory in the second leg. NB: Beutler saved a last-minute penalty and he A brilliant Christiansen against Barcelonawas hero of the game. Flensburg went on with away goals.

FC Barcelona Cifec

The Champions League resumed with the quarterfinals after the World Championship where Germany won and Denmark came in third. The enthusiasm and confidence of the team and players was apparent against the Catalonians. Barcelona suffered one of the greatest defeats in their history at the first leg in the Flensburg Arena. Christiansen was unstoppable with 13 goals.

The return leg was not formality, but Barcelona were not able to come close. “We were not really in a crisis,” said Kent-Harry Andersson, coach of Flensburg. “When it was difficult at times, we were able to survive with our routine.”

CBM Valladolid

Confident supportersA Spanish team in great form, Valladolid came on the way to the final. The home supporters were sure in the victory, but the Gummersbach-beaters proved once again that they are on top European level. Gull and Muratovic performed very well in Flensburg and stayed within reach and the two-goal Flensburg lead was practically nothing for the second leg.

The second leg was a historical game for the Spanish, but it will also go down in history as one of the most exciting semi-finals ever. Valladolid got an overtime 7-meter throw that would have been enough for a 2-goal victory meaning qualification on away goals. Roberto Garcia Parrondo took responsibility, but Dan Beutler made the save of his life. He took his team to the final. "These are the moments that one becomes a goalkeeper for," he said after the game.
A superb Beutler would help a lot against Kiel as well…

                                    The decisive save

Beutler takes Flensburg to the final



The Road of Kiel

Group E

Seitz warming up against ConstantaThe other German team started the CL season in the relatively easy Group E, where Danish Gudme, Romanian Constanta and Czech Banik Carvina were the opponents. No matter how easy they were for Kiel, the 244 goals scored in the group phase clearly positioned the German team as the side with the best attacking. Andersson, Karabatic and Ahlm were usually leading the top scorers’ list. Against Constanta at home they scored no less than 47(!) goals.

Chambery Savoie HB

The next opponent was still an easier one for Kiel. Though the French team had great players, such as veteran Jackson Richardson who scored 8 in Germany, reaching the quarterfinal was never a question.

MKB Veszprém

Karabatic led the team against VeszprémThe Hungarian champions were the first real threat for Kiel. With Lazarov, Perez and other stars of international fame, Veszprém have beaten Kiel by three at home. It was an incredibly spectacular game that ended 39-36, a result that shows the attacking potential of these top level teams. However, the only 3-goal defeat gave hope for the Kiel players.

The second leg brought what the Kiel fans expected and the same Karabatic, Andersson and Lundström were the stars of the team who showed the best performance in Hungary already. Omeyer in the goal was also in top form in contrast to the first leg. Kiel won by seven and went on to the semi-final.

Portland San Antonio

Portland, last year’s finalist were drawn for Kiel. The German team were satisfied to avoid the other Bundesliga squad, but they knew that the Spanish are extremely strong.

Portland beaten, Kiel in the final!The first match was in Spain and Kiel were able to reach a good result. Though they were not able to maintain the halftime lead, the only 2-goal disadvantage did not seem too much.

The Kiel Arena was filled once again for the big event. More than 10,300 were supporting the teams, most of them Kiel.

Karabatic was in great form already in the first half scoring 7, but the team needed 40 minutes to take a comfortable lead. After a six-goal lead, Portland came close once again and made the end of the match exciting. Only one goal separated the teams, but Kiel will be there in the final to face Flensburg.