German handball champion THW Kiel suffered a heavy blow in the Champions League. The duel with Aalborg Handbold was lost on Thursday night at 18:27 (6:11). Standout player for the guests: Niklas Landin, former THW goalkeeper. Kiel center Hendrik Pekeler was highly critical of his own team.
As Danish goalkeeper Landin and his teammates celebrated exuberantly after the final siren, his former teammates were left stunned and dismayed. Kiel’s defense expert Pekeler expressed some of his enormous frustration in a media round after the game: “Everyone now has to ask themselves the fundamental question: what do they want? Do they want to be successful or do they want to play a little here What’s up? Then they can go,” said the 32-year-old.
“We don’t have men at the front – we have children there.”
– THW pro Hendrik Pekeler
“We are good at defending and we do our job well. We don’t have any men up front – we have children there. It’s that simple to explain. If you don’t have the courage to go towards the goal, score goals and have a certain charisma – then you only score six goals in a half.” The Kiel team, which had been doing so well in the Champions League until then, had its limits painfully demonstrated by Aalborg Handbold.
After all: Despite the second defeat in the premier class, coach Filip Jicha’s team remains at the top of Group A with ten points after the seventh round. But the North Germans missed the opportunity to free themselves from their pursuers. Now Aalborg is one point behind THW.
“I just don’t like it.”
The “Zebras” do not have time to recover. Things will continue to be difficult for them this weekend – in the Bundesliga. The current champions, who are only in fifth place in the table with 14:10 points, will host the still unbeaten leaders Füchse Berlin on Sunday (2 p.m., live on NDR television and live broadcast on NDR.de).
Pekeler: “Today was another shit game – let’s see what happens on Sunday and see if we suddenly explode again. But it can’t go on like this. I don’t feel like losing every second or third game. It makes it easier for me It’s not fun.”
THW professionals spent twelve minutes without scoring
Four days after the clear Bundesliga victory over Rhein-Neckar Löwen, the Schleswig-Holsteiners started the “first class” home game against the North Jutlanders well. In the goalkeeper duel with Niklas Landin, Samir Bellahcene still had the advantage in the initial stage. The Frenchman saved four of the five shots on goal, laying the foundations for the hosts to take a 4-2 lead (9 minutes). But with every minute that passed, the man between the posts for the Danish champions grew.
It all started with Landin saving a seven-meter penalty from Niclas Ekberg and, shortly afterwards, a free throw from the Swedish right-back. And with that, the 2019 and 2021 world handball team has apparently reached operating temperature. From 5:5 (15), Landin completely closed the area – for a period of twelve minutes, which is a long time in handball. In addition to the game’s numerous throws, the 34-year-old also defended other seven-meter throws from his brother Magnus (16th) and Elias Ellefsen to Skipagötu (25th).
Only in the 27th minute did Ekberg break the spell and let the THW fans among the 7,150 spectators cheer again. The goal was to make it 6:11 – and that was also the halftime score. The German champions scored just six goals in the first 30 minutes against former number one Kiel, who moved to Aalborg last summer after eight years in the capital of the state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Jicha is angry – but the “zebras” don’t come close
The North Germans’ hopes of quickly catching up suffered a serious setback. Landin continued to defend himself from several shots and played an important role in Aalborg’s lead at 18:10 in the 39th minute. Jicha paused and raised his voice to make it clear to the players that they now had to do much more. But things didn’t get much better after that.
THW Kiel – Aalborg Handbold 18:27 (6:11)
Kiel goals: Ekberg (7/4 penalty), Bilyk (5), Landin Jacobsen (2), Duvnjak (1), Reinkind (1), Johannson (1), Pekeler (1)
Aalborg goals: Barthold (5), Nilsson (4), Björnsen (4), Hansen (3/3), Hoxer Hangaard (3), Hald Jensen (2), Juul (2), Thurin (1), Vlah (1), Möllgaard Jensen (1), Antonsen (1)
There was simply nothing that night – not against the Danes and their excellent goalkeeper. Eight minutes before the end of the game, the North Germans were ten goals behind (15:25). The game was decided long before the final siren. The most successful THW professional was Ekberg with seven goals, four of which were from seven meters.
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NDR 2 Sport | November 16, 2023 | 11:03 p.m.