Victory was not forthcoming at the Sparkassen Arena but a two goal deficit for FC Barcelona Lassa handball team against Kiel (28-26) means the tie is still open ahead of the second leg in the Palau Blaugrana. To get to the Final Four in Cologne, Barça will have to turn things around at home.
The German side started strongly in defence and the exclusion of Viran Morros for Barça allowed the home side to open a 9-4 lead with three goals from Ekberg with less than 20 minutes gone.
Xavi Pascual’s team, nevertheless, got themselves back into the game thanks to their persistent pressuring. Former Kiel star Filip Jícha scored 4 times in the first half to allow Barça to go in at half time just a goal down at 16-15.
At the start of the second half it was both defences who were on top. It was now that the Germans greater consistency in attack made a difference and Vujin’s goal gave Kiel a four goal advantage at 23-19.
Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas, back playing just 10 days after a finger operation, did well to stop a penalty at 25-22. Entrerríos and Valero brought Barça back in touch at 26-24 with Hansen sent off for the home side.
Unfortunately, the home side were able to maintain that two goal lead right to the end despite a chance for Jallouz. However, the tie is still very much alive with the return leg to come at the Palau.