The final resulted in an epic battle between the two best teams in the EHF Handball Champions League Final Four in Cologne on Sunday (June 19). Reigning champions Barcelona took an early lead which saw Vive Kielce play catch-up for the majority of the first half of the clash.
Vive Kielce finally found their breakthrough five minutes before recess, with MVP Artsem Karalek compensation to enforce the deadlock on 12-all.
The Catalans took the lead, taking a one-goal lead before half-time. The advantage proved tenuous as the second half developed into a tit-for-tat game.
The lead changed throughout the second half, with Vive Kielce delivering the first blow after the restart with Uladzislau Kulesh find the bottom of the net. Barca sniffed out victory as time ticked away Karalek scored the equalizer to send the game into overtime.
Extra time ended in a 32-32 draw before the second shootout of the final decided the winners. Barca goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas proved his star quality once again by making the decisive save in the shootout to give his team their second game in a row. Handball Champions League Title.
Barca right winger Alexander Gomez retired from the clash as the Champions League top scorer with a total of 104 goals throughout the campaign. Gomez contributed to his team’s victory by netting 10 shots into the back of the net, including a very important penalty goal.
While Gomez was key to keeping the scoreboard going for Barca, De Vargas was a rock in front of goal making 12 saves.
Guardian of Kielce Andreas Wolff was equally effective in keeping his team in the fight with a dozen saves to his name, while Karalek scored 4/5 for the Polish team.
THW Kiel beats Telekom Veszprém and settles for bronze
As a curtain raiser, German club THW Kiel edged Telekom Veszprém HC of Hungary 37-35 in a penalty shootout for the bronze medal at the EHF Handball Champions League Final Four. Two superb saves from the Danish Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Landin finally made the difference to secure the consolation prize at THW Kiel.
Halfway through, Veszprém was firmly in control with an 18-14 advantage over the four-time Champions League winner.
The German club came back into contention in the second half by obtaining less than two points shortly after the restart. Dahmke rune and Nikola Bilyk scored twice apiece to put their team back in the game at 21-19.
With 10 minutes left in regulation time, the teams were balanced before THW Kiel found themselves in front, taking a 32-31 lead.
A Kentin Mahe penalty kick goal at the buzzer tied the scores at 34-34, meaning the winners would be decided by penalty kicks with THW Kiel in the lead.