Flensburg and PSG pass Veszprem in a very close rankingArticle
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GROUP A REVIEW: Former number 1 defeated by last-minute goal in Kiel, while Paris have an easy-going afternoon against Celje and SG needed to fight hard in Istanbul

Flensburg and PSG pass Veszprem in a very close ranking

With the last matches before the winter and EHF EURO 2016 break, the lead again changed in Group A of the VEKLUX EHF Champions League. After Veszprem stepped on top last week by beating Paris, PSG and Flensburg passed the Hungarian side after Round 10 thanks to their wins.

THW Kiel are back on track after three matches without a victory. Match winner for the three times Champions league winners against Veszprem was Dominik Klein, who scored the winning strike some seconds before the end in his comeback match, after a more than eight month injury break.

Due to the results of Round 10, the chances for Celje and Besiktas to hope for the Last 16 are quite limited, being below sixth ranked team of Plock by five and six points respectively.

Match of the Week: THW Kiel (GER) vs MVM Veszprem 25:24 (11:12)

Surreal scenes of the home team mobbing Dominik Klein after the left wing scored a last-gasp winner, came as fitting reward for THW Kiel’s valiant comeback which earned them a dramatic win over MVM Veszprem.

Missing suspended playmaker Domagoj Duvnjak, Kiel trailed for most of the rip-roaring contest but prevailed in a tense finish.

The result also ended Kiel’s three-game winless streak and put them back in the frame for a first place finish in the group which means a by into the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.

With Croatian goalkeeper Mirko Alilovic pulling off a series of superb saves for Veszprem, the visitors conjured an 11:7 lead thanks to Laszlo Nagy, Gasper Marguc and Kiel’s former stalwart Aron Palmarsson.

A fast-paced start saw Kiel turn a 2:0 defeat into a 5:3 lead but they were on the back foot from there on until the closing stages of the first half, when they managed to slash the deficit.

Right back Christian Dissinger, a surprise starter, produced a mature performance for Kiel and was a constant threat with his lethal shooting from the nine-metre line.



Veszprem, who sorely missed Momir Ilic after the Serbian left back broke his shooting hand in last week’s game against Paris Saint-Germain Hanball, kept nosing ahead by the odd goal or two in the second half.

Laszlo Nagy kept tormenting the home team’s defence but the last few minutes of the game offered a final twist which delighted the traditionally boisterous home crowd.

With Veszprem leading 24:23, Marko Vujin converted a penalty to draw level before Niclas Landin Jacobsen saved a sitter at the other end.

Kiel then carved out a clear-cut chance for Dominik Klein with their last possession and the left wing made no mistake as he buried his shot past Mirko Alilovic from the six-metre line.

The entire Kiel roster, coaching staff included, rushed on to the court to congratulate their veteran, who returned to action after an eight-month absence following a serious injury, when he tore his Achilles tendon.

“It was an incredible moment for me,” an emotional Klein said after the final whistle.

“I had some tears in my eyes after the match, when the fans celebrated my goal and our victory. From the moment the whole arena stood on their seats when I returned to the court, the fans carried me. They are incredible.”

Kiel manager Thorsten Storm added: “What a brilliant day for Dominik to become the decisive factor after such hard work in rehab.”

The irrepressible Marko Vujin led Kiel with eight goals from 12 shots and an outstanding Christian Dissinger added six, while Laszio Nagy topped Veszprem’s scoring with seven goals from 12 attempts.

Gasper Marguc and Aron Palmarsson, however, were both subdued in the second half, with the latter finishing on a modest three goals from nine shots.    

Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) vs RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) 32:27 (17:12)

It took Paris Saint-Germain Hanball only 14 minutes to decide the unequal encounter and top the ranking again after Veszprem’s defeat at Kiel.

Thanks to a brilliant start, including some exceptional saves of Thierry Omeyer, the French champions were ahead 8:2 and RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko were beaten already.

In contrast to the 20:28 defeat at Veszprem in Round 9, PSG were fully focussed in attack but Celje’s defence was from a different quality than Veszprem’s one week before.

In the early stages it was the rock solid Paris defence including Thierry Omeyer which caused the early decision; Celje started weakly in attack, needed 9.42 minutes to score their first goal and were without a chance at Paris.

While PSG easily cruised to their eighth win in the previous nine matches, interrupted only at Veszprem, Celje showed moral though Branko Tamse’s young guns knew their fate already.

After an unusual inefficient performance in Veszprem, PSG’s super stars were back on track.



Mikkel Hansen netted in five of, in total, seven goals before the break, more than in the previous two matches together and Nikola Karabatic was another key player for the 17:12 half-time lead, having already four of, in total five, goals on his tally.

This was topped only by Daniel Narcisse with eight strikes.

After the break, PSG kept full control of the match are never were endangered,

On the other hand, young Celje goalkeeper Urban Lesjak could prove his key role in the team, preventing the Slovenian side from an even bigger defeat.

However, even his rate was not comparable to yet another world class performance of Thierry Omeyer, who in overall stopped 22 shots, finishing on a brilliant statistic of 44 percent.

Also because of the four-time World Champion and EHF Champions League winner, the PSG advance had risen to eight goals at 25:17 for the first time in the middle of the second half and nearly remained the same until the end.

PSG coach Noka Serdarusic could be happy about the fourth win in the fourth match against one of his former teams, Kiel and Celje twice.

Besiktas JK (TUR) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) 26:34 (16:17)

The final result does definitely not reflect the rundown of the match as Besiktas JK showed a brilliant performance and a great resistance for 45 minutes.

Only when the Istanbul-based team lacked power in the final stages, SG Flensburg-Handewitt managed to secure their eighth win, which brings them back on top of the ranking, equal with PSG but holding a better goal difference.

In the first half, as expedted, Flensburg had more problems.

The 2014 VELUX Champions League winners were beaten by their own weapons as Besiktas played incredibly fast, scoring a huge number of counter attack goals.

After a quick 4:1 run for the hosts at the start, the remaining minutes until the break were fully equal as no team after the 4:2 could cast of its opponent with a bigger distance than two goals.

At 7:6, Flensburg turned the match around for the first time and at 15:13 they seem to have momentum on their side but Besiktas fought hard and were perfectly adapted on the Flensburg tactics.



The only player the Turkish champions could not manage to stop was 2007 World Champion, Holger Glandorf.

The right back netted in eight goals before the break to finish on ten strikes in total.

On the other side, Besiktas were boosted by, in total, eight goals from their line player Tolga Özbahar, whom Flensburg could not stop.

After the close, 17:16 lead at the break, Flensburg managed to take their first three-goal lead in the following nine minutes to be ahead by 23:20.

However, the German side, except fully determined Thomas Mogensen was too hectic in attack for an early decision, scoring six goals.

The 23:25 scoreline in minute 45 was the last most equal score, then finally Flensburg initiated crunch time.

By five straight goals, two of them even short-handed, Flensburg had tamed the Turkish side which lacked power and concentration in the final stages.

TEXT: Zoran Milosalvjevic / Björn Pazen / ec