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Klein and Landin keep kiels flame of hope burning

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THW Kiel - FC Barcelona Lassa 29:24 (16:12)

In his last big match for THW in Sparkassenarena, Klein was on fire. The left wing, who will transfer to HBC Nantes after this season, scored seven goals from seven attempts in the first half - and was Kiel's one-man show in attack before the break. On the other hand, Barca showed an unusual nervousness, causing eight turnovers and four more technical mistakes in the first 30 minutes. Mainly from Kiel's former left back Jallouz and Jicha were below their usual level. In addition, Lazarov missed several shots against Landin.

Starting with an extremely high speed, the general number of mistakes was higher than expected in the 20th clash of those handball titans, in which Kiel's line player Patrick Wiencek had his comeback after a six-month injury break (torn ACL). Thanks to their strong defence, Barcelona managed to keep up with Kiel in the first 25 minutes, which included an incredible Kempa goal of former THW wing Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson and Lazarov's 100th season goal in the VELUX EHF Champions League making it 8:9. Kiel made their 10,385 fans in the sold-out arena jump for joy time and time again as Klein looked like he turned back the clock.

But Barcelona managed to stop the downswing intermediately. Goalkeeper Perez de Vargas saved some important shots, the defending champions forced Kiel to cause some mistakes - and after ten minutes the Catalan side were down only by one (17:18). Kiel coach Alfred Gislason took his time-out, and the roller coaster turned around again. As Barcelona in that period were focused on Klein, his team mates Domagoj Duvnjak, Ilja Brozovic and Joan Canellas had more space - and they grabbed their chances: netting for the sixth individual time, "Dule" Duvnjak scored marking the first five-goal gap at 24:19 with eleven minutes to go. The Sparkassenarena was a pure lion's den.