It was an incredible thriller – but one with a happy ending for the team of THW coach Filip Jicha. When the foghorn finally sounded, Kiel Arena was upside down. The narrow success in front of 10,285 enthusiastic fans was enough for the “zebras” after the draw in the first match for the eighth time to qualify for the last four in the premier class (June 18 and 19).
“It’s amazing. It was a big dream to be back in Cologne, and then in front of spectators. It’s just amazing,” THW CEO Viktor Szilagyi told NDR.
The people of Kiel go to the cathedral city – in contrast to SG Flensburg-Handewitt, who lost to defending champions FC Barcelona. Other possible opponents of “Zebras” are KS Vive Kielce (Poland) and KC Veszprem (Hungary).
Sunday (14.00) there is a north derby between SG and THW in Flensburg for Bundesliga points and thus for qualification for the Champions League in the season 2022/2023.
“Zebras” run after Paris
Even a victory with only one goal difference would be enough – with this knowledge, the Schleswig-Holsteins entered the battle. But how difficult it would be against the star ensemble from the Seine was already clear in the early stages. PSG used two errors in the Kiel attack to throw long shots in the opposite goal, the former THW professional Nikola Karabatic and the strong Nedim Remili scored. After six minutes, THW was behind 1: 4.
Jicha, however, decided not to take a time-out, instead trusting that his team found its way without further instructions.
In fact, circle player Patrick Wiencek created the tie with 5: 6 (18th). However, it was no more in the beginning. Paris was ahead – also due to some errors from the hosts with a majority of 7: 6.
Pekeler is threatened with an early end to the season
With the position 14:15 (25.) the task for “Zebras” was made considerably more difficult: Defense specialist Hendrik Pekeler held the ankle on his right foot with a painful face and hopped to the replacement bench. He withdrew with a suspected Achilles tendon injury. “It destroys the mood,” Szilagyi said after the match. “The doctors are a little cautious. But it does not look good. I do not think he will play for us this season.”
Kiel showed up after the break
In the match against Paris, the trend reversed after the break. Also because THW goalkeeper Niklas Landin became a factor. Magnus Landin made it 19:19 (34th), Sander Sagosen made it 21:20 (37th) with a counterattack to the match’s first THW lead. A hit with effect: now the northern Germans were there in full.
Keeper Landin presented himself in world-class form, in front of him his teammates threw themselves into the guests’ throws, in his own attack the chances were taken advantage of – especially by his younger brother Magnus Landin, the most successful from Kiel (seven goals in total), and Harald clean child. The latter made it 26:23 (43rd) with his sixth goal.
Landin saves THW from moving on
But Paris did not give up, and then it came to a head. When the score was 32:31, Landin again prevented a goal from being locked in, Steffen Weinhold scored on the other side to 33:31. At 33:32 and the threat of wasted time, the “Zebras” missed the target again.
PSG therefore regained possession of the ball and were released four seconds before the end. A draw would have been enough for the French. But Niklas Landin was there, parried Luc Steins’ forearm throw – and the big THW party could begin.