Dramatic last-gasp goal denies Jicha maiden win
The Sparkassen Arena is usually a hard place to conquer, and this was proven once again when THW Kiel returned in their first VELUX EHF Champions League game after a one-year absence. Yet Kielce never stopped hoping – not even when they were down by two goals inside the final minute – and they salvaged a draw in the last second, with the match finishing 30:30.
"I am very glad that we have showed such a strong performance versus our first very tough opponent. I’m very satisfied with the draw – it was morally a victory for us," said PGE VIVE Kielce goalkeeper Andreas Wollf, who was playing against his former team.
"It is a pity that we have lost one point. It was a fantastic match for the spectators. But in the end we were not clever enough to secure the win. That should not happen to us," said THW Kiel left back Nikola Bilyk, who was frustrated with the outcome.
- THW Kiel draw with PGE VIVE Kielce in their first match back in the top flight
- Nikola Bilyk scored seven times for Kiel, and the German side’s backs were in good shooting form
- Bilyk was the player of the match in the first MOTW of the season
- Alex Dujshebaev was Kielce’s best player, with five goals, including the goal in the last second that earned his team a point
MOTW: THW Kiel (GER) vs PGE VIVE Kielce (POL) 30:30 (14:15)
With Filip Jicha having replaced the legendary Alfred Gislason as head coach, a new era in the VELUX EHF Champions League was beginning in Kiel – and the Sparkassen Arena was full to welcome the Match of The Week.
Yet reality of the test Kiel would face soon struck hard. Though Kielce had changed a fair part of last year’s team, they remained the same outstanding unit led by a tactical maestro in Talant Dujshebaev.
In a fierce encounter where there were five lead changes in the first 20 minutes, former Kiel goalkeeper Andreas Wolff made his mark for his new team, helping the Polish side edge to a 12:10 lead after 20 minutes.
With four players scoring three each, Kielce mixed it up well and were superb in attack, yet there was only one goal between them and Kiel after 30 minutes – with Kielce leading 15:14.
But the game was far from over. Living up to the Match of the Week billing, Kiel came back with a 4:2 run that helped them take the lead.
While backs Nikola Bilyk and Steffen Weinhold were in superb shooting form, Kiel still had their share of trouble in defence, as Kielce took advantage of Rune Dahmke’s red card and took back the lead, 24:23.
With a two-goal advantage, 30:28, with 54 seconds left, it looked like Kiel were set to win, yet Kielce were once again the masters of finishing a tight game. First, Uladzislau Kulesh closed the gap to one, and Alex Dujshebaev capped off a superb three-second action to tie the match in the last second.
Author: Adrian Costeiu / jw