Barça 30-18 Kiel: Magnificent Nielsen leads the way into the final

Barça 30-18 Kiel: Magnificent Nielsen leads the way into the final

Remarkable performance by the goalkeeper inspires triumphant march into Champions League Final

FC Barcelona have completed the first challenge of the TruckScout24 EHF Final4 in extraordinary fashion! They utterly rolled over Kiel (30-18) in the game of a lifetime for Danish keeper Emil Nielsen whose historic 46.88% of saves was the main reason, but by no means the only one, why the team are now just one game away from the European title.

Flying start

Things were already looking up within the blink of an eyelid as Barça got the first three goals. The Germans didn't take long to edge into the lead, but it was a false awakening for them. Barça's attack had made a few uncharacteristic errors, but once they'd ironed those out of their game, there was no looking back.

It's hard to stop talking about Nielsen, whose goalkeeping was as consistent as it was spectacular, but Aitor Ariño was also stunning with a 4/4 shot conversion rate in a first half that ended with the Catalans in a commanding +6.

Smelling blood

Barça built their lead up to eight after the restart, and although Kiel managed to halve that deficit, it was just another signal for Barça to up the ante. Six uncontested points and it was 24-14, and that was a difference that Kiel were never going to make up, especially with Nielsen having one of those days when absolutely everything was going right

It was just a case of holding on, and warming the engines for a game against Nielsen's countrymen of Aalborg, the surprise other finalist who earlier in the day in Cologne had won a simply awesome contest with Magdeburg. So neither of the two German clubs will be there to fight for the trophy, which will instead be a battle between a side hoping to extend what is already a record 11 titles against a team hoping to become the first ever European champion club from Denmark.

That's happening on Sunday and the game gets going at 6pm CEST.


Barça: 30
Kiel: 18

Barça: Emil Nielsen (0), Blaz Janc (4), Dika Mem (3), Thiagus Petrus (0), Luís Frade (2), Jonathan Carlsbogård (2), Aitor Ariño (4), Melvyn Richardson (5), Hampus Wanne, Timothey N'Guessan (2), Aleix Gómez (2), Domen Makuc (1), Haniel Langaro (1), Petar Cikusa (2), Javi Rodríguez (0) & Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas (0).

Kiel: Samir Bellahcene (0), Niclas Ekberg (3), Hendrik Pekeler (1), Harald Reinkind (3), Elias Skipagotu (1), Rune Dahmke (1), Eric Johansson (1), Domagoj Duvnjak (4), Magnus Landin (0), Petter Overby (0), Steffen Weinhold (1), Patrick Wiencek (0), James Faust (0), Karl Wallinius (1), Mykola Bilyk (2), Tomas Mrkva (0).

Periods: 4-1, 4-4, 8-6, 9-6, 12-8, 15-9 / HT / 18-11, 20-14, 22-14, 27-17, 30-17, 30-18.

Referees: Daniel Accoto & Roberto Accoto.

Força Barça
Força Barça

Related to this article

Close article

Related to this article