European trio eases into Super Globe Semi-finals
After their clear wins on the opening days of the unofficial Club World Championship, HC Vardar will take on THW Kiel and Barça are up against hosts Al Wehda in the semi-finals of the IHF Super Globe 2019 in Damman, SAudi Arabia, on Thursday (29 August).
All European clubs won their quarter-finals more or less clearly on Wednesday. For Kiel, it was already their second match within 24 hours after defeating Sydney in a qualification match on Tuesday.
Champions League winners Vardar to play EHF Cup winners Kiel
VELUX EHF Champions League winners HC Vardar outdistanced SAudi wild-card participant Al Mudhar much clearer than the final result of 34:27 reflected. The team from North Macedonia decelerated in the last 17 minutes, allowing Al Mudhar to reduce the gap after initially leading by up to 11 goals (28:17).
Even the fact that Vardar had to replace their team captain Stojanche Stoilov did not stop the two-time Champions League winners in their first official international match under new coach David Pisonero. Christian Dissinger and Ivan Cupic were Vardar’s top scorers with five goals.
Next up for Champions League winners are the EHF Cup winners. The last time Vardar and Kiel clashed in a competitive match was in the Champions League Quarter-final of 2017/18, when Vardar advanced based on the away-goal rule after the aggregate result was 56:56.
Barça have easy-going start
Barça had an easy-going start of their ‘mission title defence’ with a 12-goal win, 38:26. Qatar side Al Duhail, the Asian club league champions, were only a playing ball for the record winners of the IHF Super Globe.
An 11:6 lead early on start was the perfect base for the rest of the match. Only in the initial stage of the second half, Duhail reduced the gap to five (19:14) before the Catalan motor was running again. The 28:18 in minute 44 was the first double-figure advantage. Best scorer was Alex Pascual Garcia with seven strikes. Goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas was another key player with 12 saves.
Barça’s semi-final opponents Al Wehda beat Brazilian side Taubate in their quarter-final 30:26 (17:13) and were endangered only in the middle of the second half.
Nine goals of Austrian international Nikola Bilyk and 13 saves of Danish world, EHF EURO and Olympic champion Niklas Landin paved Kiel’s way into the semi-final.
The team of new coach Filip Jicha couldn’t completely shake off the physically strong Zamalek team and were only leading by 29:27 with four minutes left before a double strike of Niklas Ekberg sealed the deal.
In Tuesday’s quarter-final qualification against Sydney University, Kiel faced much less resistance and won 41:27, with left wing Rune Dahmke leading with nine goals.
All matches are streamed live on the IHF-Competitions YouTube channel.
IHF Super Globe 2019:
Tuesday, 27 August: qualification
– Sydney Uni vs THW Kiel 27:41 (18:23)
– Al Mudhar vs New York City 33:13 (16:5)
Wednesday, 28 August: quarter-finals
– Al Wehda vs Taubate 30:23 (17:13)
– Zamalek vs THW Kiel 28:32 (12:18)
– Barça vs Al Duhail 38:26 (17:10)
– HC Vardar vs Al Mudhar 34:27 (17:12)
Thursday, 29 August: semi-finals
– 16:20 CET: Barça vs Al Wehda
– 19:00 CET: THW Kiel vs HC Vardar
Saturday, 31 August: placement matches, final
[Photos © 2019 IHF / Stephane Pillaud]
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew