Kiel knocking on the semi-final doorArticle
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Kiel won 32:26 in Chekhov. The victory takes Kiel just one step from their objective.

Kiel knocking on the semi-final door

After a 32:26 success in Chekhov, THW Kiel are impatiently knocking on the door of the semi-finals. With two home games to go against US Ivry (6 March) and Ademar Leon (13 March), the mission can be accomplished.

Andersson was a reliable partner for the Kiel defenceTHW coach, Noka Serdarusic, was apparently satisfied: “We were calmer, played smoother and we were tactically considerably better than in our first game at home.”

In fact, also Medvedi coach Vladimir Maximov knew in advance that this time it would be more difficult than it was in Kiel when they lost 25:28 in Ostseehalle. “The great atmosphere in the German hall motivated my team and we showed a very good performance,” the 62-year old coach said. “In general we don’t play so well at home.” This assessment sounds similar to that of Noka Serdarusic at the end of the game.

At the beginning of the game the cheer of the 2,800 Russian fans in the Olympskiy Hall of Chekhov was still hopeful. The bears were leading by 7:4 (10th min) and 12:9 (18th min). Their attack and defence worked well. Especially their goalkeeper, Alexey Kostygov, seemed to be in top form. They were able to stop Nikola Karabatic and Henrik Lundström just before the 7-m line.

Then the German favourites took control of the game. With his first goal of the game Nikola Karabtic took the lead for Kiel at 13:12 (25th min). With a hat-trick, the French made it 18:14 (34th min) right after the break. The Russian champions survived three suspensions quite well as Kiel missed their best chances. However, they did not panic. Not even the red card of Filip Jicha after his third suspension (46th min) had an impact on the game. Kiel took a 20:25 (49th min) lead and it was already decided at 21:27 (52nd min).

After the game the Kiel players were grateful for their goalkeeper Mattias Andersson, who replaced Thierry Omeyer once again in great form. “We could rely on Mattias Andersson,“ said THW manager, Uwe Schwenker.

TEXT: Jan Kirschner