Mayan prophecy invoked: THW Kiel don’t win
My German isn’t great but what this page says is: “Truly we have reached the end of days. Say farewell to those you love, make peace with those with whom you have fought and get your soul in order with whichever deity you pray to. Kiel lost. And not only did they lose but they lost at home. And not only did they lose at home but they lost following a half time lead.”
Like I say, my German isn’t great but I’m sure that’s what they’re saying. It ended THW Kiel 25:29 MT Melsungen. Michael Allendorf top-scored for the visitors who rise to 6th; Kiel fall to 2nd.
Top (ish) of the table Bundesliga … live!
Two unbeaten teams go head to head in the Bundesliga on Tuesday and thanks to the good folk at laola1.tv it’s available legally in the UK. The match-up sees Rhein-Neckar Löwen (who play in Mannheim and have six wins from six) take on the big beasts of SG Flensburg-Handewitt who have three wins and two draws from their five games. Both clubs have had their most successful time in the past decade – in RNL’s case that’s mostly because they only came into existence in 2002 but they have both found their way to true glory blocked by THW Kiel. A lone title and some cups is Flensburg’s return …
For UK viewers there should be some familiar faces from the Olympics: for example, Mattias Andersson the Swedish goalkeeper who plays for Flensburg will be attempting to keep out Kim Ekdahl his compatriot who plays for RNL.
Last time out in the Bundesliga Flensburg drew 31:31 against HSG Wetzlar and RNL had a relatively comfortable win over TBV Lemgo. Flensburg and their fans expect a lot better than the relative struggles they’ve had so far so I’m expecting great things from this game which is being played in the 14,500 capacity SAP Arena.
You can watch it here at 7.15PM UK.
Europe round-up: Crowded at the top in France, Germany and Spain
Three rounds in and five teams in the Asobal have 100% records. Within that group, Barcelona sit at the top with a goal difference of +34 – their narrowest victory of the year was 26:19 whereas on Friday they polished off Academia Octavio 36:20. The four teams keeping the Catalan lords company are Atletico Madrid, Reale Ademar León, Aragón, and Encantada. The latter two play each other in a couple of rounds time so if they haven’t already lost their perfect records one of them will then.
Meanwhile in Germany … THW Kiel are fourth! Granted this is because they have played fewer games than anyone else but we should all take screen shots of this day to show that these things can happen occasionally. There is only one 100% record in the Bundesliga and that belongs to Rhein-Neckar Löwen who have five wins from five. Joining Kiel in the unbeaten stakes are Fuechse Berlin with whom they drew recently and SG Flensburg-Handewitt who have two wins and a draw from their three games played so far. The table should become a bit more predictable over the next few weeks as the numbers of games played begins to equalise.
A quick look at France shows that the kerzillions euros spent by Paris was well spent. Remarkably after two rounds there are only three teams with two wins – Paris, Montpellier and Chambery. Montpellier own an extraordinary +36 record from their two games. The hotly anticipated first meeting this season between Montpellier and Paris comes this Sunday in Paris at 15:00 CET (14:00 UK). It is live on Canal+ but, as yet, I don’t know if there will be any legal means for watching in the UK.
For the first time in 41 matches, Kiel don’t win …
The zebras of THW Kiel will just have to make do with being 41 matches unbeaten in the Bundesliga because after 40 consecutive wins they were held to a draw.
The bright yellow Foxes of Fuechse Berlin did it the hard way by coming from behind but they held on at the death for a 26:26 tie that was celebrated as if the very title itself had come to the German capital. It was for the most part a cagey match and as late as the 55th minute Kiel held a four goal advantage but Berlin suddenly found Omeyer passable whereas Kiel did some very un-Kiel-esque stumbling attacks.
The result puts Fuechse at the top of the table on ten points after 6 matches (this was their second draw of the campaign) with Kiel three points back but with two games in hand owing to their wanderings in the IHF Super Globe as the Bundesliga was starting.
Bundesliga and Asobal … live matches coming up
If you could tear yourself away from Saturday tea time TV there were a couple of live handball matches streaming today. You could have seen Atletico Madrid make it two wins from two at the start of their Asobal season and then washed that down with HSV Hamburg’s come from behind victory at Hanover. Don’t worry if you didn’t, the matches are probably archived for later viewings if such things take your fancy.
Tomorrow there are also two matches, one from the Asobal and one from the Bundesliga. At 4.30pm you can see Fuechse Berlin (it means Berlin Foxes) have a tilt at THW Kiel. Fuechse joined Kiel in the Champions League Final 4 last season but anything other than a victory for the zebras would be a surprise. Then at 7pm it’s Naturhouse la Rioja against Valladolid. Both teams lost their first match but were both top half finishers last season so it should be close.
Head over to here to watch the games. If I can get myself onto a laptop that can tweet *and* stream at the same time I’ll have some live words of almost-wisdom on the Handball Views twitter feed which is @handballviewsuk.
Bundesliga is back …
After the opening round of matches it is SG Flensburg-Handewitt who sit atop the Bundesliga (the strongest league in the world as my GCSE German translates the league’s tag-line). They own top spot by virtue of a 40:20 rout of newly promoted TuSEM Essen. Other big names, including THW Kiel, also recorded wins in the first round of matches. Perhaps the most notable result was HSG Wetzlar beating HSV Hamburg.
I hope to be able to write in a bit more depth about the Bundesliga as the season develops but for now point you in the direction of Bet365’s legal live streaming which will have Tuesday’s game between TV 1893 Neuhausen and last season’s EHF Champions League semi finalists Füchse Berlin starting at 7.15pm UK.
Kiel wins German Super Cup
THW Kiel got their season off to a winning start with a 29:26 (14:14) victory over fellow northerners SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the DKB Super Cup.
It was a pretty even match, if a little scrappy in parts, but Kiel established a three-goal cushion midway through the second half that Flensburg could not overcome. The boys in Hummel had a chance at 27:26 with 2 minutes left but missed – and an immediate fast-break killed the game. A further Kiel goal right at the end gave the impression of total domination that was not really reflective of the match.
If you’re any good at German you might like to have a look here to read all about it.
Hansen to Paris; Ekberg to Kiel
The messy end of AG København* saw a whole bunch of top handball players have no home to go to. Two of the bigger names have now found new homes.
Mikkel Hansen (left) who previously turned out for FC Barcelona before heading north to Copenhagen will now be plying his trade with Paris (Saint Germain). This is the same Paris who not only will not be taking part in the EHF Champions League (Hansen was the competition’s top scorer in 2012) this year but actually finished 12th out of 14 in the Ligue National. I’m assuming the arrival of Hansen signals some new investment in the club although whether they will be challenging the domestic dominance of Montepellier who have taken 12 out of the last 15 titles remains to be seen.
No challenges to domestic dominance though for the reported new home of Niclas Ekberg. The Swedish Olympic silver medalist looks set to join Kiel (link) who last year managed a meagre haul of league, cup and European titles. The arrival of Ekberg no doubt shortens still further their odds of retaking the Bundesliga. When I last checked they were 2/11 for the title.
(* For the unitiated, AG København were a short-lived ‘super team’ put together and financed by Jesper Nielsen. They won the Danish League and Cup, played before crowds of 20,000 in the EHF Champions League but fell short of the European title, eventually placing 3rd. They entered administration and disbanded in July.)
German Super Cup – and you can watch it in Britain
Today’s the start of the German season with the DHB Super Cup between the all-conquering THW Kiel and and the not-so-all-conquering SG Flensburg-Handewitt. I’m going to go out on no limbs at all and predict a comfortable win for ‘the zebras’ as google translate tells me Kiel are nicknamed. Kiel haven’t had the Super Cup all their own way in recent years, losing to HSV Hamburg a couple of times, but I’m going to back the favourite on this and mark it down as the first trophy of the new season for THW.
If you want to watch legally you can via the streaming service at Bet365.
You don’t need to gamble to sign up but you do need to have a positive balance on your account (I think you can set this up for £1). Leave it untouched and you can watch whatever else Bet365 shows – last year they covered 3-4 matches from the Bundesliga and Asobal (Spanish League) every week in addition to live streaming the 2011 Women’s World Championship from Brazil and Great Britain’s qualifying match in Austria.
The match is down to start at 7.15pm (BST) and Bet365 is here. You sign up for an account in the right-hand corner.