France versus Germany in the CLArticle
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Kiel win in Ivry, Gummersbach lose in Montpelier: the clash of the two strongholds ends 1:1.

France versus Germany ends with a draw

France have beaten Germany in the bronze medal match of the Euro 2008. Two weeks later two French teams met two Germans in the CL. The balance is equal, with one victory for Germany (Kiel won 39:25 in Ivry) and France (Montpellier beat Gummersbach 41:37).

Ivry could not cope with the many missing playersIn their seventh CL match this season, THW Kiel kept their clean record with the seventh victory. In fact, Kiel won their third game against a French team after beating Montpellier twice in the group phase.

US Ivry had a lot of injured players, so it was an easy win for the defending CL champion. The best scorer for Kiel was Filip Jicha who celebrated his international comeback with ten goals. Nikola Karabatic hit the net eight times. The best Kiel player, after all, was another Frenchmen: goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer saved 28 shots.

Karabatic and Omeyer received flowers, just as the other French national players winning bronze medal in Norway, but then both fought against their mates.

With three Karabatic goals Kiel were in the lead (6:2) – and already in this phase, the match was decided. The Germans were too strong for the French champions who did were not dangerous against Kiel especially in attack.

THW coach, Noka Serdarusic could start changing his team very early. Even with less players on court Kiel were able to increase the gap and were leading by 17:10 at halftime.

Ivry tried everything, but could not achieve more than coming back to 20:25 before “the great Omeyer show” started. With six consecutive goals, from 26:21 to 32:21, Kiel showed the current strength of their team. At the end the difference was 14 goals.

“I’m satisfied with our start of the year. We were the favourites of the match and we played our role that we should. Ahead of the hard weeks coming up in the CL and Bundesliga, I hope that we can go on with this speed and energy,” said coach Serdarusic.

Montpellier beat Gummersbach

Unlike Serdarusic, Alfred Gislasson, coach of VFL Gummersbach, was not satisfied after the match in Montpellier.

The 13 goals of Pungartnik were not enough“We made too many mistakes in attack and especially in the middle of the first half our defense was inexistent. We did not show what we are able to do,” he said after the 37:42 in Montpellier.

Gummersbach had to miss two key players again: winger Vedran Zrnic and center back Oleg Kuleschow could not play due to injuries. Despite this, the Germans were leading 10:5 – with the saves of Goran Stojanovic and three goals of Momir Illic.

After 10:5 (minute 11), the Serbian player lost his pace completely, which was one of the reasons Montpellier could equalise at 13:13.

But this was just the beginning for Montpellier that turned the game completely: they took all their chances as Gummersbach missed too many shots. And it was even worse for VfL: with four consecutive goals after the break Montpellier decided the match. Nearly only Sigurdsson and Pungartnik scored for Gummersbach.

But then also Montpellier fell back and after 29:21 VfL came closer to 30:33 just ten minutes before the end.

However, some “hammers” of Wissem Hmam from the nine-meter line saved the two points for the French.

TEXT: Björn Pazen