Kielce get the job done despite difficult startArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: KS Vive Tauron Kielce lived up to their status as favourites in Switzerland Thursday night, but a convincing performance only came in the second half

Kielce get the job done despite difficult start

Kadetten Schaffhausen and KS Vive Tauron Kielce had the honour of opening the group phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League Thursday night, as they met in Group B.

Many experts see Kielce as a possible VELUX EHF FINAL4 candidate and the Polish champions did live up to their status as favourites, but only after a troublesome start, in which the injury handicapped Kadetten team were leading by three goals several times.

But it was not until the second half did the visitors live up to their status as favourites and took a convincing 33:28 win.

VELUX EHF Champions League Group B
Kadetten Schafhausen (SUI) vs KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL) 28:33 (14:15)

The start of the match belonged to Schaffhausen, and it was hard to see that the hosts were missing no less than five players due to injury.

Not even a two-minute suspension after only one minute for the first goal-scorer, left back David Graubner could shake the home team, who got an early 3:0 lead against a Polish 5:1 defence which did not function according to plan at the beginning of the game.

Had it not been for Ivan Cupic, things would have looked even gloomier for Kielce in the first phase of the match. The Croatian right wing scored the visitors’ first three goals and kept them in the match, even though Schaffhausen maintained their three goal lead until the score reached 9:6.

From that point on, a couple of further suspensions for Schaffhausen and an improving performance from Marin Sego in the Kielce goal brought the guests into the driver’s seat with five goals in succession, giving the favourites their first lead of the match, at 11:9.

However, Schaffhausen were not that easy to shake off. Partly because they substituted their goalkeeper with a court player in the attack and they used that advantage to draw their opponents back to a narrow 15:14 lead for Kielce at half-time.

In the second half, an extra player in attack was no longer enough for Kadetten. Kielce’s defence, which had improved during the first half, stood much more solid now and Slawomir Szmal, who had replaced an otherwise well-playing  Sego, improved the goalkeeping performance for the visitors further.

The change in the flow of play meant that Kielce soon turned their narrow half-time lead into a clear lead which was extended to seven goals at one point.

The Swiss side never slowed down, despite the win being out of reach, and by the end of the game narrowed the deficit to five goals, but it was Kielce who took the win and two points back home with them to Poland.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor