Kiel beat Vardar to meet Barça in Super Globe Final
History will repeat itself, even at the new location: while the last 10 editions of the IHF Super Globe since 2007 (once in Cairo, nine times in Doha) were all won by German and Spanish teams, the 2019 premiere in Damman, SAudi Arabia, will also get a winner from one of the those countries.
On Thursday, Barça and THW Kiel reached the final, which will be played on Saturday at 16:20 CET. The match will be streamed live on the IHF-Competitions YouTube channel.
The Catalan side, the defending champions and record four-time winners of the Super Globe, will go into their fifth final, as they have never lost one so far. Their German opponents, winners in 2011, will contest their third final on their third participation in the annual event.
Although Barça and Kiel never met before in a Super Globe match, both teams know each other well. They even played a friendly game as recent as three weeks ago, when Kiel won 28:24 (15:11) in the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, home of the VELUX EHF FINAL4.
Result does not properly reflect Kiel’s dominance
EHF Cup winners Kiel had an unexpectedly easy-going semi-final against reigning VELUX EHF Champions League winners HC Vardar. The final result of 34:30 did not properly reflect Kiel’s dominance, especially in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Kiel went from 14:12 down to 19:17 up just before the break, and decided the match between minutes 37 and 45, when they scored seven unanswered goals to turn a 22:20 lead into 29:20.
The German side’s lead even reached double-digit figures at 32:22, but Kiel started to save energy in the closing stages, allowing Vardar to close the gap to just four goals.
Goalkeeper Niklas Landin, named best player of the match, saved 11 shots, while Nikola Bilyk led for Kiel with nine goals. Ivan Cupic, Timur Dibirov and Daniil Shishkarev each scored five times for Vardar.
Down by three at the break, Barça still win by 10
In the other semi-final, Barça surprisingly found themselves three goals down at the break (16:13) against Super Globe hosts Al Wehda. SAudi goalkeeper Mohamad Alsalem had the match of his life in the first 30 minutes and his teammates were highly efficient in attack as Egypt international Ali Zeinelabedin became top scorer with nine goals.
But with the start of the second half the tide started to turn. Barça had clear advantages in terms of power and speed and ultimately won the match mainly thanks to their counter-attacks.
With 15 minutes left, Barça were already in control at 23:19 and they had the match decided when they led by seven goals (30:23) with five minutes to go. They even ended up winning the match by 10 goals, 34:24.
New arrival Luka Cindric, who has joined from PGE VIVE Kielce, was Barça’s best scorer with seven goals and he was awarded best player of the match. Counter-attack specialists Aitor Arino (six) and Victor Tomas (five) also contributed substantially to the victory.
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
– Barça vs Al Wehda 34:24 (13:16)
– THW Kiel vs HC Vardar 34:30 (19:17)
Saturday, 31 August: placement matches, final
– 13:30 CET, bronze medal match: HC Vardar vs Al Wehda
– 16:20 CET, final: THW Kiel vs Barça
[Photos © 2019 IHF / Stephane Pillaud]
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew