Tough match, important victoryArticle
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Kiel are only one step from the semi-finals after beating Ivry at home by 36:30.

Tough match, important victory

A great step towards the semi-finals: reigning CL title holders, THW Kiel, won a tough match against US Ivry. The Germans still need a point in the last and decisive match against Ademar Leon next Thursday.

Omeyer returned in good formThe match winner against the French champions was Kim Andersson. The Swedish back scored nine goals – just as the “jumping jack,” Luc Abalo, on the other side. Kiel won 36:30 after a close first half (19:18). It means that THW stay unbeaten at home in the CL and have eight points now, while Ivry have two.

After the French team won against Leon, the alarm bells were ringing for Kiel that won the first match in France very easily. And – as expected – Ivry were much stronger than in the first match.

With the counter attack goals of Abalo, the French were in the lead (6:3), before the great time of the Swedish international Kim Andersson came: With spectacular goals from the backcourt line he brought his team back in the match.

However, it took 12 minutes for the first equaliser. The defences were not on top in the first 30 minutes and the 10.250 spectators saw mostly brilliant attacks and tremendous shots by Nikola Karabatic.

The goal that made it 17:15 was scored with a speed of 115 km/h – this was the first time that Kiel took the lead by two goals. After 30 minutes, the difference was one goal again at 19:18.

“Maybe my players were only thinking about the final match against Leon in the first half and not about Ivry. They did not play as focused as I expected – especially not in the defence,” said THW coach, Noka Serdarusic.

After changing goalkeeper from Mathias Andersson to Thierry Omeyer, Kiel found their way to victory. The French international returned in good form after an injury break and saved the two points against his French friends.

Abalo kept Ivry in the lead at the beginningAt 22:19 Kiel were in lead by three goals for the first time, and in between 20 seconds Lövgren and Lundstörm scored twice to decide the game at 25:21. The two players scored two more goals to make it 28:22 (42nd min.). From that point on, the Kiel fans could start celebrations. Even the guest’s coach, Stephane Imbratia was impressed:

“This atmosphere is great; this is the handball church of Europe,” he said afterwards.

Supported by more than 10.000, Kiel played more concentrated and motivated in this period, though Ivry closed the gap to four goals (24:28). But at 32:25, it was obvious that Kiel would win this match.

“In the second halftime we improved a lot, mainly in defence. We knew before that this would be a tough match, but we were eager to win,” said Serdarusic.

Decisive games are coming up for his team: THW will meet Gummersbach in the Bundesliga on Sunday. Next Thursday they will play at home against Leon – the only team to beat Kiel in the current CL competition.

And Kiel will have a look what happens in Leon on Sunday when the Spanish team meet Chekhov. An ideal result for THW would be a draw – in this case they would already qualify for the semi-final before the last match.

Serdarusic believes that the decision will be made only in the last round:

“I expect a victory against Leon on Thursday, but we have to take care: we have to give all that we can.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen