An evening to (quickly) forget in KielArticle
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Kiel prepared for celebrations, but the atmosphere has changed on the way. A special report by Jan Kirschner.

An evening to (quickly) forget in Kiel

Just two hours before the game, when THW Kiel were supposed to celebrate the title, Marcus Ahlm was standing on the pedestrian crossing in front of the Sparkassen Arena. In fact, he didn’t look like a line player… White shirt, black trousers and the sports bag was on this shoulder. The THW fans who spotted him wished him all the best for the game.

The game ended with Spanish joyThe stage prepared for the celebrations was ready. Coffee and cakes could be bought, just as 1,000 T-shirts for the occasion. The text on it was “Champions League Final 2008“; quite a neutral one in fact…

THW’s left-handed Kim Andersson talked to a Swedish journalist: “I hope the fans would lead us to victory,“ he said.

20 minutes before the game there was life in the hall already. Marcus Ahlm, already in trainers, is throwing the ball with all his force against the wall. Not only the team, the fans also warm up: “Jetzt geht`s los! Schwarz und weiß!,“ the 10,000 fans sing and chant “T-H-W“ more loudly that any Spanish Flamenco to be heard.

That was really a top battle: the German champion against the Spanish one. However, the match was not going as the German side expected. Ciudad Real take the lead and they get a big Stepp closer to the trophy already before halftime. After the break the guests coming from the Iberia continue to dominate.

“We fought with our hearts, but it was not enough today,” a disappointed Vid Kavticnik commented after the game. “We made it too easy for Ciudad Real,” said THW coach, Noka Serdarusic angrily. “The two-goal away success was a great performance. Maybe we should have lost the first leg by five goals.”

There was no celebration on the stage on SundayThe final whistle and the official ceremony was painful for the hosts. Domingo Diaz de Mera, the patron of the Spanish side, hugged the cup, while Filip Jicha on the other side gazed into emptiness.

“I don’t know how could we forget this,“ the Czech said bitterly. “The best would be to win the German championship already on Wednesday in Göppingen.”

The slogan changes on the tribunes: “We will be German champions, Flensburg will only be second,” says the moderator. The fans cannot sing this whole-heartedly. There are still a couple of days to go until then. There is no good atmosphere this evening. Also Marcus Ahlm goes home disappointed. “It’s okay,” a fan says to him, “you are the best anyway”.

TEXT: Jan Kirschner