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Kiel take Atleticos fortress

kire 01 10

The host was cheered by standing ovations after the final whistle, but the guests danced on the field: Atletico Madrid and THW Kiel showed a brilliant opening match attended by more than 8800 spectators, but like in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2012, Kiel were the deserved 32:27 (17:15) winners. "I am very happy with the triumph because we have new players and we need time to improve like Madrid with their new faces in the team," THW coach Alfred Gislason said: "This victory is highly important because we didn't start really good the Bundesliga and we need this victory for gaining self assurance." In contrast to the hosts the German defending champions could play with their full squad – which meant a clear advantage, as not only tall Danish shooter Nikolaj Markussen missed the match due to an injury, but goalkeeper and team captain Jose Hombrados, too.

Norwegian newcomer Magnus Dahl played his first ever VELUX EHF Champions League match. But he and his defence were overran in the beginning: Kiel started their engines with the starting whistle and it took only nine minutes when the Germans were away with 7:3 thanks to a very aggressive defence. But when Kiel overstepped the border at the six metre line and were punished by a big number of two minute suspensions, Madrid reduced the gap. Inspired by the brilliant passes of newcomer Ivano Balic, the three times VELUX EHF Champions League winner came closer and equalised at 11:11for the first time. In only seven minutes THW coach Alfred Gislason took two time-outs – and somehow his players found their rhythm in the final stage of the first half and took a close 17:15 lead to the dressing room. And right in the second half Kiel had organised their defence like in the starting minutes – with one difference: Andreas Palicka replaced Thierry Omeyer in the goal, which became a major key for the defending champions.

Backed by his saves and by putting Madrid under enormous pressure in defence Kiel again forged ahead to 28:24, and latest when top scorer Filip Jicha netted his sixth goal for 31:27 the top match was decided. "We made a very good match today, and we are satisfied because it is always important to win a first match in a competition," THW left wing Dominik Klein said. Kiel's club director Sabine Holdorf-Schust is "really looking forward for the upcoming matches. We showed a great match with a final result noboby expected". On the other hand Madrid coach Talant Dujshebaev found the reasons for the defeat: "We are sad after losing, but we know that we need more time to improve and work with all the new players. I'm happy with all my players because they did all his best to win the match." Back court ace Joan Cañellas shares this opinion: "We know that we need more time to improve and this group is really difficult, especially when you have to start against Kiel. We are sad for our supporters that they made a great atmosphere and we can't win but I'm sure that in the future we will play better." Top scorer of his team was Kiril Lazarov with six goals.