A true fortress since 1997
If you want to know what home strength means, simply take a look at THW Kiel’s record in the Men’s EHF Cup.
The hosts of the EHF Cup Finals 2019 have their 18th home match in this competition on Wednesday at 19.45 hrs, live on ehfTV.com, facing Polish side Azoty Pulawy. It is their very first game in the group phase format of the EHF Cup after playing only knock-out matches in 1997/98, 2001/02 and 2003/04. Kiel won the competition each of the three seasons they participated.
Big names such as Barcelona (final opponents in 2002), Flensburg (final opponents in 1998) and Paris Saint-Germain (Last 16 opponent in 2004) arrived at Sparkassenarena and left empty-handed during the impressive 17-match winning streak.
The overall balance of Kiel in the EHF Cup, after winning all their 2018/19 matches against Drammen and Granollers, currently stands at 29 victories, one draw and eight defeats.
Considering four away defeats came in the 1997/98 season, Kiel have only lost four of the last 27 EHF Cup matches this century: The 2004 semi-final at Astrakhan (25:28) and away to Ljubljana (26:32 in Round 3), Wallau (31:32 in the semi-final) and Barcelona (24:28 in the final) in the 2001/02 season. The one draw was with Aalborg in the 2004 quarter-finals, 32:32.
They were not only winning at home, but winning big. The three home final matches against Flensburg (1998/+5), Barcelona (2002/+7) and Altea (2004/+8) proves how dominant they were. The goal difference of the six home matches in the 2003/04 season was +63, in 2001/02 it was +56.
Kiel’s largest victories in EHF Cup history were 40:20 against Gracanica (Bosnia-Herzegovina (Round 2, 1998) and 41:22 against Meran (2003/04, Round 3). In total, six home matches including the 34:23 in this season’s qualification game against Drammen, ended with a win of ten goals or more.
With the EHF Cup Finals on home court, one thing is for certain – if Kiel extend their home winning streak to 22 matches, they will lift the trophy on 18 May.
Author: Björn Pazen / cor