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Nodesbo last second goal gives Barcelona a draw in Poland

KS Vive Tauron Kielce - FC Barcelona Lassa 30:30 (14:17)

Having overturned Barcelona's first-half lead, Kielce were on the verge of what would have been a memorable win but threw away a two-goal lead in the closing stages of a rip-roaring contest. "In the first half Barcelona led the rhythm of the game," coach Xavi Pascual said. "In the second Kielce were on top. The whole game was equal, so the draw is fair." Led by the season's top scorer Kiril Lazarov, Barcelona dictated the pace in the first half and held the upper hand thanks to a fairly constant three-goal lead.

The visitors benefited from a flurry of fast breaks and a quick transition from defence to attack, as Kielce struggled to adapt to the Spanish side's high-tempo game at both ends of the court. However, the tide turned in the second half as a frenetic home crowd got behind Kielce in full force and the home side turned a 22:24 deficit into a 30:28 lead with only a minute left on the clock. But Barcelona then drew on the vast experience to avoid a second group phase defeat after suffering a 22:21 setback in the opening round against Rhein-Neckar Lowen. Having thrown away possession when they were 30:29 ahead, Kielce allowed a long cross-court pass to reach Noddesbo on the six-metre line giving the Dane, who played a cameo part, a simple task of netting his solitary goal of the contest to silence the vociferous home fans.

"We got that two-goal advantage so I shouldn't be happy. But nevertheless I'm happy that we draw with Barcelona, the best team in Europe and the world," Kielce coach Talant Dujshebaev said. "It's for us as a lesson for the future, what to do in the last seconds." The effervescent Michal Jurecki, who tormented Barcelona throughout, was the game's top performer with seven goals from 10 shots, while Lazarov netted as many from 16 attempts at the other end. Iconic Spanish pivot Julen Aguinagalde chipped in with four goals out of four shots for Kielce and livewire German winger Tobias Reichmann netted five from five, while Frenchman Cedric Soraindho and playmaker Raul Entrerrios chipped in with four each for Barcelona. Heralded as the strong favourites to defend their title, Barcelona will undoubtedly look back at their second patchy group stage performance and return to the drawing board in order to keep their bar high. Sifting through the errors will be seen as a requirement and not an option by their staff, ahead of the remainder of what is shaping up to be a rollercoaster Champions League campaign.