Nexe takes first step to EHF Finals with home win
Nexe put one foot in the EHF European League Men semi-finals with a comfortable win over GOG on Tuesday.
The Croatian side know how to defend their home fortress, only losing once in six games this season. With a lively attack and sturdy defence, Branko Tamse’s team stood strong against one of the most efficient forward lines this season, leaving GOG at only 57 per cent shot efficiency and under 30 goals. GOG, missing several key players, now have a slightly harder task at their home ground for the return leg next Tuesday, with both teams seeking their maiden EHF FINALS.
QUARTER-FINAL; LEG 1:
RK Nexe (CRO) vs GOG (DEN) 32:27 (16:14)
- GOG took an early lead before Nexe pulled their way back into match after ten minutes, helped by a string of fine saves from Mihailo Radovanovic
- the Danish team underperformed in defence, giving many openings to the Nexe shooters
- Jerry Tollbring’s quickfire double brought GOG back to within two of the hosts at half-time
- affected by the absences of Mathias Gidsel and Emil Madsen, GOG had trouble scoring with a lack of concentration leading to mistakes
- Key to Nexe’s win were goals by Predrag Vejin and Halil Jaganjac for a five-goal lead by the 48th minute
- Simon Pytlick and Jerry Tollbring netted a total of 13 of GOG’s 27 goals
Back court strength
Nexe’s strength in Tuesday’s first leg match was effortless offence, and finding a way to score from all positions. But the main drivers of the attacks were back court positions. Halil Jaganjac from left back and Predrag Vejin on the right side scored most of the crucial goals of the match, providing Nexe with a five-goal advantage ahead of the rematch in Denmark. Jaganjac, who’s leaving Nexe at the end of the season, scored nine, adding four assists. Vejin netted another six.