Kiel easily win first MOTW of the season
With a demonstration of power, THW Kiel started their next “Mission Cologne” in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League. Beating Elverum Handball in the first MOTW of the season meant a perfect start for Kiel and an expected result for the Norwegian champions.
On Kiel’s side, Norwegian international Harald Reinkind was the top scorer with six goals and was awarded Player of the Match. Elverum have now lost all three matches against Kiel and still have never taken a point against a German team.
MOTW: THW Kiel (GER) vs. Elverum Handball (NOR) 36:26 (17:13)
- like in their goalfest in the previous season (41:36 in favour of Kiel), both sides mostly focused on the attack in the first half rather than on the defence, but scored ten goals fewer compared to last season, when the halftime score was 20:20
- after a 7:9 deficit, Kiel improved at both ends of the court, especially the left-handed stars Niklas Ekberg and Harald Reinkind, who combined for seven goals by the break, were on fire
- it only took Kiel eight minutes in the second half to decide the unequal encounter, when new arrival Karl Wallinius scored for the eight-goal lead at 23:15
- Niklas Landin won the goalkeeper duel clearly with 10 saves more, strengthening Kiel’s defence
- like Harald Reinkind on THW side, Elverum’s new arrival Uros Borgas scored six goals, while former Elverum player Erik Johansson netted twice in his first Champions League match for Kiel
Tough season ahead for Elverum
After making it to the Champions League play-offs in the last two seasons, Elverum Handball are in a state of transition, again rejuvenating their team. After losing their top stars Eric Johansson (to Kiel) and Dominik Mathe (to PSG), the Norwegian champions are building up a new attack.
Of course, THW Kiel are not on Elverum’s level, but they know that their season will be tough, both in the Machineseeker EHF Champions league and in the Norwegian league, where uprising stars from Kolstad will try everything to secure a spot in the Champions League, when Sander Sagosen arrives. But as new arrival Uros Borgas had proven already at Kiel, he will help his new team.
To be honest, we had a lot of respect for Elverum because of last season, even though we knew they had six new players to integrate. That's why I'm satisfied with our first game and with the way we played in defence. We were brave and consistent. In the second half, Niklas saved a few more shots. We have to stay focused and keep working on ourselves because the next task is already waiting for us on Sunday.
We played with six new players today in a world-class team. Some of them had the experience from last year when we were able to make the games closer. We scored exactly the same number of times in both halves today, but still the first half was better from us. In the second half, we conceded too many goals on the counterattack. I am happy with the step we took, but disappointed with the result.