Kiel win a match with two completely different halves
With an incredibly strong first half THW Kiel seemed to be on their way to demolishing Vive Kielce, but then the 2022 EHF Champions League finalists struck back and were close to turning the match around. In the end, Kiel took a 32:29 victory and still can mathematically hope for second place in the group. Now at 12 points, they are still six behind the Polish side. Netting eight goals, Niklas Ekberg was Kiel’s best scorer, but the match winner was goalkeeper Tomas Mrkva.
THW Kiel (GER) vs. Vive Kielce (POL) 32:29 (22:13)
- THW Kiel showed probably their best 30 minutes of the current season of the Machineseeker EHF Champions League in the first half - in all departments, the hosts were the better team
- after a constant five goal gap from 10:5 to 15:10, the hosts scored on almost every attack in the last nine minutes, pulling ahead to a never expected 22:13 lead
- Kielce showed moral fortitude after the break - and were boosted by wing, Arkadiusz Moryto, who scored four consecutive goals to cut the lead to 18:24
- Kiel were extremely shaken, and Kielce were on a roll - but, with the match at 27:29, they missed three chances in a row
- with a last bit of energy and strength, Kiel survived Kielce’s great comeback - two minutes before the end, Miha Zarabec sealed the deal, scoring to make it 31:27
No happy return for Andreas Wolff
Twelve days after he was awarded best goalkeeper of the 2023 World Championship, Andreas Wolff had a special return to the international club stage on Thursday, returning to Kiel, the club he played for until 2019. However, following much discussion as to whether Wolff would leave Kielce due to the financial problems of the club, his performance was not at his usual level as he saved only seven from 26 shots. And, any thoughts that treble World Champion Niklas Landin would shine between the THW posts, was also wrong: Czech, Tomas Mrkva was on the court almost the whole match, becoming the THW match winner with 14 saves.
We are really happy that we could finally beat Kielce again after such a long time. It was our longest drought against a top European team. We did almost everything right in the first half. But in the end, our opponent is a Champions League finalist and one of the best teams on this planet, so they showed that.
When you lose the first half by nine goals, it becomes really difficult. But, my players gave everything to come back. It was a great fight, but Mrkva made incredible saves. He was the key to Kiel's victory.