And four for Kiel. On Tuesday night, the German club won their fourth Handball Champions League title, beating Barcelona (33-28) in the final of the 2019/2020 edition.
Already winner in 2007, 2010 and 2012, Kiel had eliminated the Hungarians from Veszprem after a stunning game and extra time, Monday in the semifinals. The German club succeeds the Vardar Skopje, absent from this “Final Four”. Barcelona, nine times winner in C1 (a record), has not won a title since 2015 and falls for the first time this year.
A title awaited since 2012
After 2000 and 2010, 2020 … Every ten years, history seems to repeat itself: Kiel and Barcelona faced each other for the third time in the Champions League final, ten years after the German club was crowned in the he 2009/2010 edition, season of the introduction of a four-way final, over two days, in the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne (Germany). But this shock, which has kept all its promises, took place on Tuesday without the some 20,000 usual spectators and under a health bubble, due to the coronavirus pandemic. And once again, the predictions were foiled, and it was not the favorite, Barcelona, who were crowned.
After a very close start to the match, Kiel managed to make the break after ten minutes (7-5), thanks to a goal from the Norwegian Sander Sangosen (7 goals in total), who arrived in the summer in the North of Germany and who had played in the group stage of the 2019/2020 edition with PSG. The Barcelona have only managed to come back once at the height of the Kieler (27th, 15-15), without ever succeeding in taking the advantage.
Niklas Landin impassable
In the second half, Kiel passed the +5 milestone by relying on Niklas Landin, become almost impassable (14 saves at 34%), crowned for the first time in the Champions League, the only title missing from his record. Barcelona winger Alex gomez, top scorer of the meeting with ten goals (including five penalties), and the goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas (10 saves) only allowed to maintain the suspense, without upsetting the meeting.
With this coronation, Filip Jicha won his first international trophy as a coach, having won the Champions League twice, already with Kiel (2010, 2012). A little earlier in the evening, Paris SG took third place by winning 31 to 26 against the Hungarians of Veszprem.
After this “Final Four” exceptionally scheduled at the end of December, international players will continue and now find their national team to prepare for the international events in January, including the World Championship in Egypt (January 13 to 31).