Crime in the Champions League: THW Kiel spoils PSG’s big comeback

Crime in the Champions League
THW Kiel spoils PSG’s big comeback

Paris Saint-Germain makes up a big deficit at THW Kiel, superstar Nikola Karabatic’s team takes the lead – only to collapse completely in the last minutes of a dramatic Champions League game. In the end there is a big victory for the Bundesliga club.

Handball record champions THW Kiel remain leaders in preliminary group A of the Champions League. The North Germans celebrated a 26:24 (15:10) home win over French champion Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday and now lead the rankings with 13:5 points. The best throwers of the game were Niclas Ekberg with five goals for Kiel and Mathieu Grebille with six goals for PSG.

Against his French compatriots, THW goalkeeper Samir Bellahcene was wide awake from the start. Before Paris scored to make it 1:5 in the seventh minute, the 28-year-old had already made seven saves. When the guests got into the game better and reduced the lead to 5:6 (11th) and 8:9 (20th), Kiel countered coldly and went into halftime with a five-goal lead. “He’s incredible, he brings in energy. People love it, we love it,” said left winger Rune Dahmke, praising his goalkeeper after the game.

However, the break damaged the flow of the hosts’ game, with coach Filip Jicha now relying on the seventh field player. Paris became more and more confident and took the lead for the first time in the 41st minute with a counterattack goal from David Balaguer into the empty Kiel goal at 19:18.

As the game progressed, both teams made numerous technical errors and missed throws. Kiel’s left winger Niclas Ekberg missed his long-time teammate Andreas Palicka with a seven-meter shot when the score was 23:23.

Because Paris only managed one goal in the last eight minutes of the game, Kiel were able to celebrate a deserved home win. National player Rune Dahmke made the preliminary decision at 25:23 with a throw into the deserted goal of the guests, who wanted to force the equalizer with a seventh field player and paid for the risk with a blow to the neck. Due to the bankruptcy in Kiel, the French set a bitter negative record: superstar Nikola Karabatic’s team has never lost four games in a row.

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