The handball team from THW Kiel inflicted the first loss of a point in the preliminary round on defending champion FC Barcelona in the Champions League. After a strong fighting performance by THW in the second half, it was 30:30 (14:18) on Thursday. In front of 9421 spectators, Niclas Ekberg scored nine goals for Kiel. Timothey N'Guessan and Blaz Janc each scored five goals for the visitors.
The Catalans started with a lot of speed and pulled away from 6:3 (8th minute) to 9:4 (11th). On the Kiel side, Miha Zarabec in particular braced himself against the Barça defense. The Slovenian, who is only 1.78 meters tall, repeatedly tore gaps and thus ensured that the THW did not fall behind even more early on. In the Kiel backcourt, the Swede Eric Johansson was particularly missed, who broke his right middle hand in the final training session on Wednesday and has now been out for weeks.
Kiel didn't give up, equalized through Ekberg to 28:28 (57th) and through Steffen Weinhold at 29:28 (58th) the first lead of the game ever. It wasn't enough to win, however, as the Spanish champions equalized through Ludovic Fabregas.
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