No smiles after the victoryArticle
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Kiel reach second group phase by beating Hammarby 40:36 – Karabatic and Zeitz injured again.

No smiles after the victory

The last time a German team played in the Hovet Arena of Stockholm, it ended in tears. That was the women’s national team losing the semi-final and the ¾ final of the 2006 European Championship. But also after the 40:36 victory of THW Kiel against Hammarby in Hovet, there was only reason for little joy on the German side.

Hammarby were supported by a huge crowdFirst of all, the players were tired only 48 hours after the home defeat in the Bundesliga against Hamburg; secondly, more injuries happened in Sweden.

Four minutes before the end, Christian Zeitz clashed with Nikola Karabatic! Both had just come back after injuries and nobody knows how long they will miss.

Karabatic is especially unfortunate as he suffered a shoulder injury again after scoring nine goals in his first international match since the end of September.

THW coach, Noka Serdarusic was just “happy with our victory, but not happy with these injuries. I hope he will not miss too many matches”.

But he could also be glad: after four victories from four CL matches, the reigning champions are already qualified for next round.

“This was our minimum objective, but now we want to stay on top of our group. Especially for our spectators we have to win our last matches against Montpellier and Constanta,” said manager Uwe Schwenker.

Karabatic injured againHis team were not really on the court in the beginning of the match. Hammarby were supported very loudly by 7,800 singing spectators and they started better. After 14 minutes, the Swedish team were leading 12:8 and Kiel had some “unknown holes” in the defence.

Pivot Nicklas Grundsten was able to make a lot of easy goals. And if Kiel did not have their strong goalkeeper, Thierry Omeyer, the result would have even been worse for the German champions.

But then the great show of the Swedish THW pivot, Markus Ahlm, started. He was the one, that scored the first lead for Kiel at 19:18 – in the end he was announced “Man of the Match”, as he was the top scorer with 13 goals – eight he scored in the first half that ended with a total of 43 goals.

But still at this time, it was obvious that Hammarby had to fight harder than Kiel for every goal – and their power was missing by the end of the match.

“We were tired,” said Frederic Larsson, the best Hammarby scorer (7 goals). And Kiel were more aggressive in defence in second halftime.

“We improved our performance, but it was hard to win,” said Ahlm after the match – and thanked the backcourt players of his team:

“Without them I would not have been able to score my goals.”

After he scored to make it 33:30, it was clear that Kiel will win this match, as they were more concentrated both in offence and in defence.

Despite the defeat, Hammarby coach Staffan Olsson, who played seven years in Kiel, was satisfied:

“We are getting better every match and we still have the chance to reach the second group phase.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen