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Last gasp victory

FC Barcelona Lassa v THW Kiel 26:25 (10:13)

FC Barcelona Lassa secured their second win in the Velux EHF Champions League in an intrepid encounter against German outfit Kiel. It was game of courage and never losing hope as they battled from behind on repeated occasions and eventually snatched glory with half a minute on the clock. Xavi Pascual's side had to overcome a strong start from the visitors, who did a fine job of thwarting the Barça attack force and were lethal on the counter. If hadn't been for five terrific saves from Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas, things could have been a lot worse than the 6-7 on the quarter hour, but the difference had soon been extended to three (10:13).

With Duvnjak leading the play in expert fashion, Barça were trailing all the way and consistently struggled both to find space and to find ways of beating Kiel's excellent stopper Wolff. But two consecutive power plays helped Barça back to 13:13 and if it hadn't been for another marvel from Wolff, then Lazarov would have finally got them leading. Instead, Kiel responded to re-establish the three-point cushion (13:16). It was great end-to-end handball, and scores were exchanged until Barça were at last back level on 19 each and then took the lead at 22:21.

The appearance of Landin, and a little misfortune in front of goal, brought fears of a similar defeat to Kiel as the one last season, but the late lunge by the Catalans would not go unrewarded this time. With Wiencek in the sin bin with just over two minutes to go, things were suddenly shaping up very nicely. Jallouz made it 25:24 and in a gripping final minute, Víctor Tomás finished things off at 26:25. Kiel made one last attack, Barça Lassa defended expertly, and the Palau Blaugrana could start celebrating.