Duvnjak inspires Kiel as Vardar lose third match in a row
Last week, THW Kiel let a clear lead from their hands slip against Pick Szeged, eventually settling for a draw.
On Wednesday evening, the German side won the duel of former Men’s EHF Champions League winners - against HC Vardar 1961 - following a clear improvement after the half-time break.
Using 7 v 6 attacks as an efficient weapon in the crucial period of the match, Kiel took their fourth straight away victory at Skopje despite the ever-impressive Timur Dibirov scoring 10 times for the hosts.
- Fourth win in six means Kiel are back top of Group A, equal with Montpellier on nine points
- Vardar lose third match in a row, remain five points ahead of sixth-placed Zagreb
- Visitors lacked efficiency in attack in first half as Vardar goalkeeper Martin Tomovski saved 12 shots, while Timur Dibirov scored seven of Vardar’s 13 goals in the first half
- Second half saw Tomovski only manage two more saves, Dibirov three more strikes as Kiel came back
- In 12 minutes, the German side turned a 10:13 deficit into a 19:18 advance, mainly thanks to 7 v 6
- With Domagoj Duvnjak and Hendrik Pekeler in attack and Niklas Landin in goal (11 saves) vastly improved, Kiel did not let home side back in
The rollercoaster ride of Domagoj Duvnjak
Last week, in the 32:32 draw against Szeged, Domagoj Duvnjak was Kiel’s most unhappy player after scoring just one goal from six attempts and missing two crucial shots in the last two minutes.
On Wednesday night in Skopje, the team captain of Kiel and the Croatian national team showed his happy face, scoring seven goals – five of them after the break – boosting his THW Kiel side to go on and claim this important away win in North Macedonia.
It is always special to play in this hall, the atmosphere is wild. The players were rather emotional in the first half, probably due to the atmosphere. We played against the strong Vardar team. We had to focus on our game. In the second half the players corrected these shortcomings.