|20.09.2008, 20:10||◄ last page|
The CL winners showed a surprisingly good performance in the semi-final. They will meet the hosts on Sunday.
Ciudad defeat Kiel again
The second semi-final of the Champions Trophy saw the repetition of the Champions League final a few months ago.
This time the teams could play with somewhat less pressure on neutral court, in front of a crowded Veszprém sports hall. And though the pressure was less, the teams did not allow the other score easy goals.
Good defending characterised the entire first half. None of the field players was able to play a dominant role and the strict defences kept the score low.
In addition to this, Ciudad Real goalkeeper got additional support from the home crowd. The good relationship between Sterbik and the Veszprém fans dates back to the years when he used to play for the Hungarian club.
The first half ended with a three-goal difference, 14-11, which was the biggest gap between the teams so far.
Coach Gislason was apparently not able to speed his team up for the second half. Meanwhile Ciudad carried out a few fastbreaks and scored easy goals right after the break. While Pajovic, Viran and Kallman scored, it was only Jicha to try to catch up with them. In the 40th minute it was already 23-14 for the CL winners.
Though it doesn’t happen very often, Kiel’s Omeyer had to be substituted in the goal. The young Swedish reserve goalie, Palicka gave some hope for the Germans. With his many brilliant saves and some Kim Andersson shots, Kiel came closer (25-20) in th 20th minute.
In the final minutes the teams tried everything for the victory and it brought along two consequences: defending was tougher than before and there were many mistaken shots on both sides of the court. Palicka proved his talent, but it was not enough.
Ciudad Real won by 31-24 and made it to the final. The Spanish CL winners will meet the Cup Winners’ Cup winner Veszprém on Sunday. Full house and exciting game guaranteed.
Comments from the coaches
Talant Dujshebaev (Ciudad Real): "We played better than expected after a difficult last two weeks. At the same time we also have to acknowledge that Kiel were missing the best player in the world today. It will be a tough game tomorrow against the hosts in a great atmosphere."
Alfred Gislason (THW Kiel): "Both teams wanted to win the game, but we made too many mistakes. We played against a great side that won, but we need to play better than we did today."
TEXT: Balazs Nemcsik reporting from Veszprém