Incredible catch-up chase of defending championsArticle
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THW Kiel beat MKB Veszprém 32:31 after being down by six goals

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Men's News

Incredible catch-up chase of defending champions

What a match, what a catch-up chase! Defending champions THW Kiel were down on the floor in the second half, but proved their winner’s mentality. After a six goals backlog in the middle of the second half the Germans fought back and finally took a 32:21 victory.

Despite showing a great morale, THW is anything but through to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne, having the re-match in the cauldron of Veszprém ahead.

The Hungarian champions played highly strong, especially in defence, for about 50 minutes, but then THW turned the page.

Though former Veszprém shooter Marko Vujin had scored six of his in total eight goals in the first 30 minutes, THW Kiel were below by one at the break. The Germans managed to stop László Nagy, but were much weaker in defence and attack compared to their 32:21 gala in the duel of the Group Phase on home ground.

Veszprém coach Carlos Ortega had adapted his team perfectly to the Kiel attack – and goalkeeper Nándor Fazekas stood as a rock. Apart from when the score stood at 13:12, Veszprém were in the lead all through the first half.

Kiel missed too many chances and lacked aggression in defence, leaving too many gaps for visitors to get through. Even a goalkeeper change of Thierry Omeyer to Andreas Palicka did not stop the downswing. Despite the brilliant support of 10,000 spectators in the sold-out arena Kiel did not find their way and rhythm.

And the performance did not improve for the defending champions right after the break (half-time result 15:16). THW played much too quickly in attack and missed their first four chances, Veszprém sensationally forged ahead to 20:15 in only four minutes, resulting in an early time-out from THW coach Alfred Gislason.

But still the Hungarian team knew what to do: They changed their defensive tactics to a more aggresive version and intercepted the Kiel attacks very early. Kiel were close to passive play too often, failing in their efforts to find a way through the Veszprém defence. At the other end, it was Nagy, who  extended the margin to six goals for the time at 24:18 in the 43 minute.

But Kiel did not give up for a single moment though they were down 22:28 – knowing that the final decision will be taken next Saturday in Veszprém. Thanks to a really strong catch-up chase and a 6:0 series THW equalized again at 28:28 – and the arena went crazy.

The tense final stage started with a Veszprém double strike, but Kiel levelled again. The last MKB lead was the 31:30, before a penalty shot from Momir Ilić and the final goal of Daniel Narcisse decided the incredible match, in which Nagy scored eleven goals for MKB.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br