“It was a tough game”: European Championship hero Wolff struggles after a thriller of seconds

“It was a tough game”
EM hero Wolff struggles after a thriller that lasted seconds

The German handball record champion THW Kiel scores a point against the top Polish club Kielce for the first time in 13 years. Its goalkeeper, the German handball hero Andreas Wolff, is annoyed with himself.

Handball record champion THW Kiel narrowly missed an away coup in the Champions League. Coach Filip Jicha’s team took a 36:36 (17:15) win after a long lead against Industria Kielce led by German national goalkeeper Andreas Wolff. Shortly before the end, last year’s Polish finalists turned the game around, but Niclas Ekberg still secured a point for the North Germans two seconds before the final siren.

With seven goals each, Ekberg and Eric Johansson were the best shooters for the Kiel team, who have not won in the “Hala Legionow” in Kielce for almost 14 years. The last time a point was won was in Kielce in 2011. Wolff was initially hardly a factor in goal for the favored hosts, but the goalkeeper got hot in the final phase. The 32-year-old made a total of 13 saves.

“We had the chance to get the two points,” said Wolff, who played for Kiel for three years before moving to Poland in 2019, after the game: “That’s bitter. I could have played better. It was a tough game , but at least we got a point.” About two weeks ago, Wolff was voted the best goalkeeper at the European Handball Championship in Germany; with world-class performances in a row, he played a key role in enabling the DHB team to reach the semi-finals.

After a dominant start by the Poles, Kiel, which only has a real chance of winning the title in the premier class, got better and better into the game. The North Germans held a three-goal lead for a long time, but Kielce turned the game around, driven by the frenetic crowd. Then Niclas Ekberg saved the important point for Kiel. “It was a big match with a lot of speed and a lot of different ways to play handball. I’m very happy that we finally managed to get at least one point here in Kielce – especially when you look at how the game was over at the end,” said the Swede. “I’m very proud to have won this point here. We’ll see what it’s worth in the end.”

With only three games left, the North Germans lead Group A with 16 points ahead of Kielce and Paris St. Germain (both 13). Only the two best teams in the two groups of eight advance directly to the quarter-finals. The teams in third to sixth place qualify for the round of 16.

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