“Almost perfect handball”Article
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The Kiel side refuse to talk about the finals yet, while Löwen coach and players know exactly what the first game means.

“Almost perfect handball”

Jumping, dancing and celebrating – still none of the Kiel players wanted to say hat they are already through to the finals.

“No congratulations before the second leg,” pivot Marcus Ahlm said and smiled. The Swedish international was highly impressed by the performance of his team before the break. “This was close to perfect handball,” he said.

Fritz could not help avoiding the defeatTypical for Kiel, Ahlm found a couple of things to improve for the future:

“As our defence was good and our goalkeeper Therry Omeyer made sensational saves, we have to take our chances with better concentration. Sometimes we shot too fast.”

But in the end, Ahlm was highly satisfied with the result:

“It’s quite a good advantage for the second leg. But in handball everything can happen. Our objective is to win the match in Mannheim.”

Coach Alfred Gislasson was satisfied, too:

“I think the result is quite good for us as we have to play away on Thursday. At the same time, we made too many mistakes in attack. We had enough chances, but we didn’t score enough. Our first half was very good in offence and defence, but the restart after the break was weak. In the end we found our pace and took a great advantage.” 

Captain Stefan Lövgren praised the decisive:

“We played very well, Omeyer was in superb form and the Löwen didn’t have the tools against our defence. Our most dangerous weapon in attack was counter attacks once again.”

No chance, new haircut

There’ll be a lot of work for the hairdressers of Mannheim. The Löwen player, Henning Fritz, Slawomir Szmal, Siarhei Harbok and Gudjon Valur Sigurgdsson, avoided the hairdressers for months. They said that they would only go there once they are eliminated from the Champion League.

It seems they’ll have to go soon. Löwen coach Wolfgang Schwenke (played in Kiel many years) didn’t even talk about the chances:

“I only hope that we’ll never have such a weak day again,” he said. Not even the missing backcourt players could be an excuse for Schwenke: “We won tough matches with the same players.”

Löwen manager, Thorsten Storm, who had worked for THW some years ago, was deeply impressed. Not with his team…

“THW played handball as if they were from another planet. It was incredible, amazing, outstanding… We had our black Sunday.”

Coach Schwenke counted the number of missed chances (33) and technical faults (20). He added:

“Normally we don’t make so many mistakes in two games. We tried to keep pace with Kiel, and this was our mistake. Some of my players resigned into it too early.”

Goalkeeper Henning Fritz, who won the Champions League with THW in 2007 before changing to the Löwen, was depressed:

“It’s hard to say anything after such a match. I tried my best and I think my performance was okay, but the rest of the team wasn’t good enough.”

Schwenke underlined the poor discipline of his team: “We threw too fast and Omeyer saved fantastically.”

Schwenke’s only wish is to play better on Thursday at home: “This was a little catastrophe.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen