They celebrate. All together, in a dance circle on the dance floor. Experienced THW Kiel players and also the youngest ones. And in the middle of all this, Hendrik Pekeler, who had harshly criticized his team after the 18:27 against Aalborg, spoke of “boys instead of men on offense” and accused some of his teammates of not having enough desire. to succeed. . On Sunday all THW players were eager to win the two points. And that’s what they did after a great performance on matchday 13. With 16:10 points, Kiel retains its slim chance of defending its title.
“It was a fantastic performance from my team.”
THW coach Filip Jicha
“Today we saw what the team and some players are capable of. I am very happy for the boys who were able to reward themselves today,” THW coach Filip Jicha told NDR. The 41-year-old Czech also addressed Pekeler’s criticism after the match. “What ‘Peke’ said certainly does not belong to the public. But the content: it is what we want. We do not live in harmony and balance, we live in a family of shows. We are expected to do a show every three days and not just one of every three games”.
He made comparisons with the past. “Back then, if you suffered a defeat, two or three in a row, it was not pleasant to come to train. There were also certain massive fights, that’s part of it. There is a common goal: to win and perform and perform.” , and we didn’t do that.”
“It’s a mental game between us.”
THW right winger Niclas Ekberg said: “We’re relieved. That’s exactly how we wanted it to be. It’s a mental game between us. You just have to pull yourself together, look each other in the eye and say: ‘We’.” “What we are doing today is a thousand times better than the last game. And that was the case today.”
“Zebras” immediately with great passion.
From the beginning it was clear that the “Zebras” were eager to receive compensation. The players fought for the ball with such passion in the first minutes, as if the game was already at the decisive moment. In short: Kiel wanted to get back on track immediately after the debacle against Aalborg. And that was successful. After 2-0 (4th), after twelve minutes it was 6:6, and by that time the North Germans had scored as many goals as against the Danish champions around former THW goalkeeper Niklas Landin in the entire first half.
While the Berliners had clear advantages in the goalkeeping position with the strong Serbian Dejan Milosavljev over Tomas Mrkva, the Czech entered the match better between the home posts after quarter of an hour. Furthermore, Kiel’s defense managed not to let Füchse defense player Matthias Gidsel recover.
Duvnjak leads the game THW
Led by veteran Domagoj Duvnjak, the North Germans got rid of the capital team with a 5-1 run to leave the score 13-9 (28th). At half-time it was 2:10 p.m. and the THW fans were, rightly, enthusiastic about their team’s performance. Cyclist Patrick Wiencek was also very satisfied. “You can see that today we showed a different face. We worked hard in defense and we have good solutions in attack. We have to continue in the same way,” he said in the halftime interview with NDR.
Kiel remained “on fire” even after the restart, also thanks to Mrkva. When the score was 16:13, he saved a seven-meter shot from the now 42-year-old former HSV professional Hans Lindberg (34th). But Berlin was closer, also because Pekeler missed a free kick against Milosavljev (40th). Soon after it was only 8:19 p.m. Jicha brought Samir Bellahcene for Mrkva. And after a quick counterattack by the visitors from Matthes Langhoff, the Frenchman immediately stopped his shot.
THW fans celebrate Captain Duvnjak
Mrkva also saved seven meters again in the duel with Lindberg (48th). And when Magnus Landin made it 25:22 (53rd) and shortly after Bellahcene saved another shot, it seemed that the Kiel team would make amends. A little later the lead was five goals (27:22, 55).
“He radiates THW DNA.”
Filip Jicha on Domagoj Duvnjak
Success was no longer in danger. After the final siren the celebration began. Shouts of “Dule” resounded in the stadium in honor of captain Duvnjak, who was THW’s most successful player with nine goals. Coach Jicha also praised the 35-year-old: “He is a man we need very much. Not only on the field, but also off it. He exudes THW DNA.”