Lesson for LöwenArticle
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Kiel win the semi-final with extreme ease: 14 goals advantage.

Lesson for Löwen

After THW Kiel proved their outstanding qualities in German handball, they proved them in the Champions League semi-final as well. The Zebras have beaten Rhein Neckar Löwen in the first leg by 37:23 (20:8). This was more than just one step towards the third consecutive Final appearance of the club.

Jicha: 11 goals and impressive performanceEspecially before the break, Kiel played “extraterrestrial” handball and they ran over Löwen from counter attacks. This first half paved the way for an incredible and unexpectedly clear result.

Strangely enough, the best player of Löwen was their goalkeeper despite conceding 37 goals. Henning Fritz, former Kiel player, saved 20 shots. Without him Löwen would have run into an even greater defeat. On the other side Thierry Omeyer was also in form and made a total of 22 saves.

Only the start of the match was equal, but right after 10:7 Kiel scored a series of 8:0 goals – mostly from counter attacks. Rhein Neckar Löwen missed all their chances: either Omeyer saved or the shots were blocked by the Kiel defence.

It was 10 goals for THW in the 25th minute already. Not even Jackson Richardson could bring something new for Löwen. None of the 10,250 spectators in the sold out Arena would have expected 12 goal at the break, but THW’s defence seemed unbeatable.

Right after the break Löwen had their best stage of the match. Mariusz Jurasik (the Löwen top scorer with eight goals) started to score and Kiel had problems. But the guests couldn’t come closer than eight goals. By the middle of the second half, the game became hectic and the Romanian referees Din/Dinu had a lot to do. A lot of suspensions and two red cards were given. Oliver Roggisch (Löwen) and Börge Lund (Kiel) collected three suspensions each. At one point only seven players remained on the…

Kiel found their rhythm again and with two players more on court they went away to 10 goals. The resistance of the Löwen was broken and the hosts – still unbeaten at home in this CL season – had no problems in getting away to at least 14 goals.

The best scorer was Filip Jicha with 11 goals, but Nikola Karabatic also played an outstanding game in offence (seven goals) and defence alike. THW now can plan their next Final after Löwen were given a very hard and bitter lesson of handball.

TEXT: Björn Pazen