Handball: Kielce stuns title holders Barcelona with late comeback

Once again, Łomża Vive Kielce stunned the Spanish title defenders Barcelona, winning the Gameweek 8 match of the Handball Champions League at home 29:27 (14:16). This is the seventh victory in a row for the Polish champions, who strengthened their position as the leader of Group B.

Barcelona, who suffered a shock home defeat to Kielce 30:32 just a few days earlier, started the match with an offensive attitude, which brought them a four-goal lead (5:1) after just five. Motivated by their coach Talant Duyshebayev, Vive rushed to catch up at 9:9. However, the end belonged to the guests and after 30 minutes, the hosts were losing 14:16. Even though the team from Kielce did not play badly, the accuracy in the attack phase was too low.

The second half started with chaos and many wasted opportunities from both sides. Yet, it was Barcelona who shook off the initial stress and came four goals clear (19:15). The advantage could have been higher had it not been for Andreas Wolff in the goal of Kielce, who showed off his spectacular skills on a few occasions.

Things started getting worse and worse for the hosts when with seven minutes to go Barcelona once again recovered a four-goal lead 27:23. On top of that, Kielce’s Artsem Karalek received a two-minute suspension. However, Vive suddenly kicked into a higher gear and after a three-goal haul the Spanish side’s advantage dropped to only 26:27 with four minutes remaining.

A minute later, Karalek, the one whose questionable suspension could have cost Vive the priceless win, equalised the match. Barcelona was in complete disarray, and when Alex Dujshebaev (the hosts’ top scorer of the night with 8 goals) completed a comeback for Kielce in the 59th minute, the home crowd went wild. The victory was sealed by Arkadiusz Moryto after another perfect display in defence and the second win over Barcelona in six days - the feat which looked unbelievable even a week ago - became a fact.

This is not the end of big games in Champions League for Vive Kielce. The Polish side will now travel to Paris to take on PSG on December 2.