Four points behind SG Flensburg-Handewitt–THW Kiel

Jim Gottfridsson, SG Flensburg-Handewitt Photo: Ingrid Anderson-Jensen,

SG Flensburg-Handewitt beat THW Kiel in the North Derby with 28-27. Here are Ola Selby’s four points after the match.

Finally handball at the top again!

Nordderby means the 2023-24 handball season is here for good – absolutely fantastic! In front of full stands in Flensburg, the home team and Kiel offered a hard-fought, but sometimes sloppy, classic match. Today it feels like the season has really started.

Flensburg is sharper this year – but the game is not yet decided

Last season was a sabbatical for Flensburg, which also led to the dismissal of double gold medal coach Maik Machulla towards the end of the season. Flensburg has now brought in a tip in the form of Kay Smits, Simon Pytlick, Lukas Jörgensen and Glas Blagotinsek. So, Jim Gottfridsson has a better team around him than he has had in a few seasons. But if it was clear in this match that Flensburg’s high standard was extremely high, it was equally clear that the match was not yet settled. The technical errors were like sticks in the hill, but they will surely diminish as the season progresses.

Kiel a more complete team building

Unlike Flensburg, Kiel has not changed much in its squad. Niklas Landin is no longer there and Sander Sagosen is also gone. Sure, two important cogs, but it can definitely be argued that Eric Johansson was already better than Sagosen last season. Flensburg could well be as good as Kiel once the season is over, but at the moment Kiel are a more stable team.

Strong overthrow of Flensburg

In the first half it felt like it was Kiel’s game. In the other, it was the opposite for a long time. Flensburg dominated Kiel early in the second half (14-18 became 22-19), prompting Kiel coach Filip Jicha to take a timeout and reprimand his players. How did Flensburg manage to recover? A great Benjamin Buric in goal and better fluidity in the offensive game. However, Kiel showed class as they regained a 25-23 lead with just under seven minutes remaining – a lead they looked set to hold on to. But in the last second of the match, Emil Jakobsen decided and Flensburg won 28-27.

Michael Wilding

"Friendly travel trailblazer. Certified gamer. Evil bacon practitioner. Analyst. Problem solver."

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