While world-class Danish goalkeeper Landin and his teammates celebrated euphorically after the final siren, his former teammates were perplexed and dismayed. Pekeler, Kiel’s defense specialist, expressed some of his enormous frustration in a press conference after the game: “Now everyone has to ask themselves the fundamental question: What do they want? Do they want to be successful or do they want to play a little here and then they can leave,” the 32-year-old said.
“We don’t have men on the front, we have children there.”
THW professional Hendrik Pekeler
“We are good in defense and we do our job well. We don’t have men in front, we have children there. It’s that simple to explain. If you don’t have the courage to go for the goal, score goals and If you have a certain charisma, then you will only score six goals in a time”. The Kiel team, which had so far performed well in the Champions League, saw its limits painfully demonstrated by Aalborg Handbold.
After all: despite the second defeat in the premier category, coach Filip Jicha’s team remains leader of Group A with ten points after matchday seven. But the northern Germans lost the opportunity to break away from their pursuers. Now Aalborg is one point away from THW.
“I just don’t enjoy it.”
The “Zebras” have no time to recover. This weekend things will continue to be complicated for them in the Bundesliga. The current champions, who with 14:10 points only occupy fifth position in the standings, will host the still undefeated leader Füchse Berlin on Sunday (2:00 p.m. live on NDR television and live on NDR.de).
Pekeler: “Today was another shitty game. We’ll see what happens on Sunday and we’ll see if we suddenly explode again. But it can’t go on like this. I don’t feel like losing every second or third game. That makes it easy. For me it’s not it’s fun.”
The THW professionals went twelve minutes without scoring
Four days later After a clear Bundesliga success at the Rhein-neckar Löwen, Schleswig-Holstein got off to a good start in the “first class” home match against North Jutland. In the goalkeeping duel with Niklas Landin, Samir Bellahcene still had the advantage in the early stages. The Frenchman stopped four of his five shots on goal, setting the stage for the hosts to take a 4-2 lead (minute 9). But with each passing minute, the man in the ranks of the Danish champion increased.
It all started with Landin defending a seven-meter penalty from Niclas Ekberg and, shortly after, a free kick from the Swedish right winger. And with this, the 2019 and 2021 handball world cup had apparently reached operating temperature. Starting at 5:5 (15th), Landin completely closed his area for twelve minutes, which is a long time in handball. In addition to numerous shots from the game, the 34-year-old also rejected other seven-meter shots from his brother Magnus (16th) and Skipagötu’s Elias Ellefsen (25th).
Only in the 27th minute did Ekberg break the spell and let the THW fans among the 7,150 spectators cheer again. The goal was to reach 6:11, and that was also the result at halftime. The German champion scored only six goals in the first 30 minutes against the veteran number one of Kiel, who last summer after eight years in the capital of the state of Schleswig-Holstein had moved to Aalborg.
Jicha is angry, but the “zebras” don’t come closer
The North Germans’ hopes of quickly catching up suffered a serious setback. Landin continued to defend himself from several shots and played an important role in Aalborg’s lead (18:10 after 39 minutes). Jicha took a break and raised his voice to make it clear to his players that they now had to do much more. But things didn’t get much better after that.
Nothing just happened that night, not against these Danes and their excellent goalkeeper. Eight minutes before the end of the match, the North Germans were ten goals behind (15:25). The match was decided long before the final siren sounded. The most successful THW professional was Ekberg with seven goals, four of them from seven meters.