ZEBRAS OVERRUN THE LIONS
THW Kiel took the next “big points” in the championship match of the DKB Handball Bundesliga! In the top game on Wednesday night against Rhein-Neckar Löwen, “Zebras” tamed the “Lions” in the sold Sparkassen-Arena with 31:28 (14:13). After 48 minutes of play time, the score was tie in a thrilling game 22:22, before Kiel with a brilliant 7-0 run, took the initiative and the points. Top scorers were Uwe Gensheimer (9/5) for the guests as well as Filip Jicha with 8/2 hits. A great comeback in the THW-shirt celebrated Aron Palmarsson, who scored seven goals.
Comebacks of Petersson and Palmarsson
The black and white fans in sold out Sparkassen Arena, week in advance, made neat atmosphere for their team long before the kickoff. After the recent personnel check – Rasmus Lauge falls due to a cruciate ligament crack, any support from the stands was needed, because Rhein-Neckar Löwen is their biggest rival for the first place in the DKB Handball Bundesliga. Left-handed Alexander Petersson after lengthy shoulder injury was ready for use again. But the comeback of another Icelander was cheered considerably more in the Sparkassen-Arena: Aron Palmarsson returned after four weeks of rehab, onto the floor and stood back – as well as fellow Petersson on the other side – on the grid.
Duel of strong defenses
Palmarsson also sat in the very first attack, with a heavy blow throw hit, the playmaker opened the score 1:0 and then immediately ran to the bench. In defense he was replaced by Patrick Wiencek, together with Rene Toft Hansen formed the center block of the Kiel 6:0 defence. The match was equal and the attacks from both teams were on their task, Kiel was in a lead but Rhein-Neckar Löwen
closed down the gap and also made use of a gamely Johan Sjöstrand who saved nine attempts alone in the first half. After a breakthrough by Ekdahl du Rietz in ninth minute Rhein Neckar was in a lead by one goal 4-3. But outnumbered – Vujin had two minutes penalty – Kiel attack was not very smooth, but Jicha after good assist by Palmarsson, despite numerical inferiority scored for 4:4. And after the Kiel defense provoked a technical error, Zeitz made a shot for the 5:4. The Sparkassen-Arena cooked, as Sjöstrand defused an attempt shot from Petersson and Wiencek by counter-attack made it for 6-4. The “zebras” had the game seemingly in control, and after Gensheimer failed to surprise Sjöstrand, Toft Hansen overcame Landin from the second attempt, the THW led for the first time with three hits. In this period, Rhein Neckar’s goalkeeper, Landin was the only one who kept his teammates in the game.With a seven meter scot against Palicka, Gensheimer scored for 8:7. But Kiel had continued resolute, and Vujin, Palmarsson and Wiencek got Kiel on a safe lead of 12:8.
Kiel lapses of concentration before the break
Lions coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson took his time-out, and this had its effect. Powered by Isaias Guardiola in the right back, the guests shorten some of the advantage of the home team. After Palmarsson’s hip throw attempt finished far from the goal and Manojlovic intercepted a pass from Vujin to Jicha and sprinted to the counter-attack, Rhein-Neckar Löwen just before the break equalized to 13:13. But, Palmarsson with his fourth goal still took Kiel to half-time break with one goal lead, because in the last attack of the first half Sjöstrand saved an 9-meter attempt from Gorbok.
Lions game turn briefly
Shortly after the restart, conceded Christian Zeitz his second two minutes penalty because he was a fraction of a second too late to Ekdahl du Rietz. The Rhein-Neckar Löwen took advantage of the opportunity and went through a Gensheimer-seven meters, a Landin parade against Palmarsson and a jump shot from Ekdahl du Rietz for 14:15, and for the first time since the early stages, the guests were back in the lead, Isaias Guardiola had a chance from counter-attack to increase the lead but missed it. Palmarsson and Sigurdsson have helped to balance out again immediately, but the momentum was on the guest side: Again, the indefatigable Ekdahl du Rietz scored to 17:16, and after another mistake in attack, Gensheimer by counter-attack gave the Lions two goals lead 18 : 16. With a foul over Guardiola in the 6 meter zone, Gensheimer with another seven meter score, got the highest lead for his team, 16:19.
Jicha with brilliant Preview
But THW could rely on his fans, who were pushing their team further forward in spite of the three goals deficit. Groetzki succeeded against the short-term offensive 3:2:1 formation of Kiel defence for the 20 goal for the Lions, but after Wiencek’s response, Vujin’s counterattack and Sigurdsson winning possession of the ball in Kiel’s defense the goal difference had been compensated. Groetzki failed from outside to surprise Sjöstrand , but the ball remained in the ranks of the lions. Then Filip Jicha led Kiel’s counter-attack for the first home lead since the break, after 48 minutes of game time it was 22:22, the game seemed to be exciting until the end.
“Zebras” overrun lion in nine minutes
In the next nine minutes, Kiel played in a frenzy. The first was Patrick Wiencek , who took out a penalty – Jicha scored to make the score 23:22. Then sprinted Christian Zeitz, could not be dissuaded and Kiel had two goals lead, 24:22. Playmaker Andy Schmid briefly lost the overview and then the ball while Filip Jicha scored for 25:22. Then Palicka saved a desperation throw from Ekdahl du Rietz, and an attempt from Schmid. Aron Palmarsson was precise on the opposite side with a jump shot for 26:22. Kiel’s defensive bulwark won two more balls that Jicha and Sigurdsson made it to 28:22. When Wiencek caught a long pass from his goalkeeper with one hand, and finished into an empty net at 29:22, the last doubts on the 11th Kiel win of the season were long gone. Ekdahl du Rietz then ended the nearly nine-minute scoring drought in the Rhine-Neckar Löwen, and in the last four minutes returned with the triumphant gas. The Mannheimers used the momentum – so much so that Alfred Gislason and his team even drummed together for half a minute after the 30:28 connection. The thrilling finale belonged to “comebacker” Palmarsson Aron, who scored his seventh goal for 31:28.
THW coach Alfred Gislason :
Today was a super handball game. I am very happy with the win, also because the lions have a very strong team. I’m really happy about the performance of Aron Palmarsson. He has not played nearly five weeks and today such a world-class game. I was also very pleased with our defensive performance. Around the 50th Minute we decided the game, it was a deserved victory. But for the championship it is still not decisive. I would not have thought that we are leaders in this phase. But that may well be completely different from the end of December. Now only comes once our away game in Hanover, where we have always done hard games. This is only the beginning of a series of tough games that we have in front of us. The goal is of course also with this young team to be champion. This is still a long way off. Other clubs – especially as the HSV – have much better ways to put away injuries.
Lions coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson:
Today I am partially satisfied with the performance of my team. We played outstanding first 40 minutes, led by three goals. Then came the hard decision by a two-minute penalty for Uwe Gensheimer and the THW comes next into play. Then we have ten to twelve minutes produces too many technical errors, that Kiel punished with counterattacks. We have given the game out of hand. But: We have tried everything and gave it our best, but it was not enough today. The THW deserved to win. But the championship is a marathon. We have a comparatively heavy program with many away games behind us – and even difficult games ahead. But then in the second period we have a better program.
Lions CEO Thorsten Storm :
Today I had the feeling that something could go. But what the THW Kiel shows after this break is not be overstated. The strength of an individual Aron Palmarsson or Filip Jicha today we had not in the backcourt, and then if something should happen here, really, you have to be the crunch time even there. Hats off to what currently happens here.
THW CEO Klaus Elwardt :
The spectators have seen a great handball game today. That was great advertisement for our sport. Congratulations to my team and my coach. We have been excellent in coverage, and therefore had the better of us. Hats off to the performance of Aron Palmarsson . What he has now cast on the panel, could truly be proud of. When I am 11 December after the Cup match here can express congratulations to my team and my coach again, I am very satisfied.
THW Kiel – Rhein-Neckar Lowen 31:28 (14:13) THW Kiel: Sjöstrand, Palicka (from 47); Toft Hansen (2), Sigurdsson (2) Blaster (1), Wiencek (4), Ekberg, Lauge (/), Zeitz (2), Jallouz (/), Palmarsson (7), Klein (/), Jicha (8/6), Vujin (5). Rhein-Neckar Löwen: Landin Jacobsen, Stojanovic (from 49′) – Schmid, Gensheimer (9/5), Roggisch (/), I. Guardiola (5), Manojlovic (1), Groetzki (4), G. Guardiola ( 2), Ekdahl du Rietz (5), Sigurmannsson, Petersson (1), Myrhol (1), Gorbok. Coach: Alfred Gislason – Gudmundur Gudmundsson Referees: Robert Schulze / Tobias Tonnies (Magdeburg) Penalty Minutes: Zeitz (4), Jicha (2), Vujin (2) – Gensheimer (2), Gorbok (2), G. Guardiola (2), Petersson (4) Spectators: 10.285 (sold out) Best Players: Palmarsson, Jicha – Gensheimer, Ekdahl du Rietz.
Bundesliga Round 12,the results :