German handball record champion THW Kiel suffered a major blow in the Champions League. The duel with Aalborg Handbold was lost on Thursday evening with 18:27 (6:11). Outstanding player for the guests: former THW goalkeeper Niklas Landin. Kiel kingpin Hendrik Pekeler heavily criticized his own team.
While world-class Danish goalkeeper Landin and his teammates celebrated exuberantly after the final siren, his former teammates were perplexed and dismayed. Kiel’s defense specialist Pekeler vented some of his enormous frustration in a press conference after the match: “Now everyone has to ask themselves the fundamental question: What do they want? Do they want to be successful or do they want to play a little here and play there. ? Then they can go,” said the 32-year-old.
“We don’t have men at the front, we have children there.”
— Hendrik Pekeler, THW professional
“We are good in defense and we do our job well. We don’t have men in front, we have children there. It’s simple to explain. If you don’t have the courage to go to goal, score goals and have a certain charisma, then you only score six goals in one half.” The Kiel team, which had done so well in the Champions League so far, saw its limitations painfully shown by Aalborg Handbold.
After all: despite the second defeat in the premier class, coach Filip Jicha’s team is still leading Group A with ten points after the seventh matchday. But the North Germans missed the opportunity to break away from their pursuers. Now Aalborg is one point behind THW.
“I just don’t enjoy it.”
— Hendrik Pekeler
The “Zebras” have no time to recover. Things will continue to be difficult for them this weekend, in the Bundesliga. The reigning champions, who are only in fifth place in the table with 14:10 points, will welcome the still undefeated league leaders Füchse Berlin on Sunday (2:00 pm, live on NDR television and live streaming on NDR.de).
Pekeler: “Today was another shitty match, let’s see what happens on Sunday and see if we suddenly explode again. But it can’t go on like this. I don’t want to lose every second or third match. This makes everything easier. It’s not funny to me.”
THW professionals went twelve minutes without scoring
Four days after the clear success in the Bundesliga against Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Schleswig-Holstein got off to a good start in the “premier class” home match against Nord Jutlanders. In the goalkeeping duel with Niklas Landin, Samir Bellahcene still had an advantage in the early stages. The Frenchman blocked four of the five shots on target, laying the foundations for the hosts’ 4-2 (9′). But as the minutes passed, the man between the posts for the Danish title holders increased.
It starts with Landin blocking a seven-metre penalty from Niclas Ekberg and, shortly after, a free throw from the Swedish right winger. And with that the world handball player of 2019 and 2021 had apparently reached operating temperature. Starting at 5:5 (15th) Landin completely closed his area – for a period of twelve minutes, which is a very long time in handball. In addition to numerous shots in the match, the 34-year-old also blocked further seven-metre shots from his brother Magnus (16th) and Elias Ellefsen in Skipagötu (25th).
Only in the 27th minute did Ekberg break the spell and let the THW fans among the 7,150 spectators celebrate again. It was the goal at 6:11 — and that was the halftime score, too. The German record champions scored just six goals in the first 30 minutes against Kiel’s long-serving number one, who moved to Aalborg last summer after eight years in the Schleswig-Holstein capital.
Jicha is angry, but the “zebras” do not come closer
The North Germans’ hopes of recovery quickly suffered a serious setback. Landin continued to block numerous shots and played an important role in giving Aalborg the lead 18:10 after 39 minutes. Jicha took a break and raised his voice to make his players understand that they now had to do much more. But things didn’t get much better after that.
THW Kiel – Aalborg Handbold 18:27 (6:11)
Kiel objectives: Ekberg (7/4 penalty), Bilyk (5), Landin Jacobsen (2), Duvnjak (1), Reinkind (1), Johannson (1), Pekeler (1)
Aalborg goals: Barthold (5), Nilsson (4), Björnsen (4), Hansen (3/3), Hoxer Hangaard (3), Hald Jensen (2), Juul (2), Thurin (1), Vlah (1), Möllgaard Jensen (1), Antonsen (1)
There was simply nothing to be done that night, not against the Danes and their exceptional goalkeeper. Eight minutes before the end of the match the North Germans were ten goals down (3.25pm). The match was decided long before the final siren. The most successful THW professional was Ekberg with seven goals, four of them from seven meters.
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NDR2 Sports | November 16, 2023 | 11.03pm