Dinamo take last-second win; Kiel progress
When the final whistle was blown, Dinamo celebrated their first ever victory against THW Kiel in what was the fourth duel overall. But the 32:31 away win was only for honour and confidence, without any impact on the quarter-finals: As THW Kiel had won the first leg 41:28, the aggregate gap were still 12 goals in favour of the German side.
Andrii Akimenko secured Dinamo’s win with a last-second empty-net goal after a turnover.
Kiel now face Paris Saint-Germain for a spot at the TruckScout24 EHF FINAL4.
PLAY-OFF, SECOND LEG
THW Kiel (GER) vs C.S. Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU) 31:32 (16:17)
Aggregate score: 72:59
- after winning the first leg 41:28, THW Kiel clearly did not play at 100 per cent, with lower speed and decreased toughness and mobility in defence compared to that which imprinted the first leg
- in contrast to last week, Dinamo were well adapted and, as they were on an equal level for the whole match, gained some confidence, though they knew the chance of progression was minimal
- after Kiel started the first leg with a 7:1 run, their biggest advantage on home ground was three goals, right in the opening stage (5:2). Bucharest were constantly on an equal level after that, backed by a strong performance of goalkeeper Khalifa Ghedbane, who finished with 12 saves in his tally
- from the score of 6:5 onwards, Kiel were not ahead until the 19:18 right after the break. After that, the gap was only twice bigger than one goal, though THW recorded a 3:0 run after being down 26:28
- both coaches took timeouts in the last minute, but a missed pass in Kiel’s final attack was turned into Akimenko’s buzzer-beating winning strike
- while Niklas Ekberg was the top scorer for Kiel with nine goals, Ante Kuduz struck five times for Bucharest, ahead of a trio with four goals each (Stanislav Kasparek, Lazar Kukic and Alex Pascual)
Kiel versus Paris for third straight time
Like in 2021 and 2022, THW Kiel will duel Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the Machineseeker EHF Champions League. In both previous cases, the team that made it to the EHF FINAL4 in Cologne was the one with the home right in the second leg of the quarter-final.
In 2021, Kiel won the first leg at home 31:29, but were defeated 28:34 in Paris. In 2022, it was vice versa — and even closer: After a 30:30 result in Paris, Kiel won the second leg 33:32. The sides have only clashed once in Cologne: in the 2015/16 3/4 placement match. PSG won this duel of the disappointed 29:27.
Photos: Sascha Klahn
The most important news of the day is that we will get the chance to play Paris in the quarter-finals for the Truckscout24 EHF Final4, even though it will be very tough for us with the second leg in France. About the game: After our great week with the almost perfect game in Bucharest and the win against Berlin on Sunday in the Bundesliga, my boys missed something a bit today. I can accept that, and in the end I am responsible for the decisive phase. I love the seven-a-side — unfortunately, we missed to score and Bucharest scored the goal. That's on me. The fact that it didn't work today will certainly help us in the other games.