31 Aug. 2019
Barça clinched their third consecutive IHF Men’s Super Globe trophy on Saturday evening in Dammam, when they defeated THW Kiel by two goals after fighting back from the same distance at half-time. It is the fifth Super Globe title overall for Barça, after they won the championship in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
For Kiel, it is the second silver in the competition, and third medal overall. The German team won the trophy in 2011 before losing the final in 2012 – also to a Spanish team, Atletico Madrid.
THW Kiel (GER) vs Barça (ESP) 32:34 (17:15)
The title at the 2019 IHF Men’s Super Globe was decided with a nail-biting game where nothing was sure until the final minute, when Aron Palmarsson sunk the winning goal for Barça to claim the trophy.
It was THW Kiel who had the stronger opening, and Nikola Bilyk had a particular impact early on, with two goals in the fast-paced first five minutes (5:2). Jure Dolenec drew Barça equal at 6:6 in the 10th minute, and it was he who created the first two-goal advantage for the record Super Globe winners at the end of the opening quarter, 10:8.
However, the lead did not stick, and Kiel reclaimed the advantage in the last 10 minutes before the break to hold a two-goal distance in their favour at the break. Though his team trailed at that point, Luka Cindric (11 goals) had played an incredible first half, with seven goals in the opening 30 minutes alone. Kiel changed their defence between 6-0 and 5-1 in an effort to control the Croatian centre back, but the Barça newcomer managed a considerable impact nonetheless.
However, Spanish side had trouble in defence that meant they could not take control. Barça’s goalkeepers were not at their strongest form in the opening half, and Kiel’s Olympic and world champion Niklas Landin clearly won the contest between the posts, with eight saves in the first 30 minutes.
Barça keeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas was substituted for Kevin Moller in the 17th minute, after just two saves, but Moller recorded the same tally and it was the situation in defence that led to the Catalan team’s deficit at the break.
Barça returned with stronger defence, and Perez de Vargas back between the posts. The Spanish EHF EURO 2018 champion improved his performance and managed more saves in the second period, helping Barça take the upper hand. It was a goal from Dika Mem that pulled Barça in front for the first time in the second period, at 34:33 in the 42nd.
From that point, the score was always equal or one in favour of Barça until a Cindric breakthrough took the Catalan side to a two-goal lead, 29:27, with eight minutes on the clock. In the tense final minutes, Barça inched ahead, with consecutive goals from Mem and Aron Palmarsson deciding the game as they took the score to 33:29 in the 58th.
Kiel managed a comeback and drew within one goal off a fast break from Niclas Ekberg. When Barça had possession in the final 60 seconds, there was still a chance for the German team to steal the ball and equalise – but Palmarsson broke through to secure the victory against his former team.
With that, Barça claimed their fifth Super Globe trophy to extend their record of most titles in the competition.