Veszprém take a huge lead to Denmark
Last season, Aalborg Håndbold sensationally made it to the EHF Champions League final, this season, the Danish champions need a miracle to return to Cologne. The 29:36 defeat at Veszprém in Match Of The Week on Thursday night was a shock for the visitors, while the hosts celebrated a crucial win in the quarter-final first leg with their fans. Steered by Kentin Mahe and top scorer Gasper Marguc, awarded Player of the Match, Veszprém were in full control after 15 minutes. After their quarter-final elimination by Nantes in 2021, the four-time Champions League finalists have paved the way to Cologne with a seven-goal margin.
MOTW, QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) vs Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) 36:29 (17:16)
- the result after 30 minutes makes it seem quite equal, but does not reflect proceedings, as Veszprém missed some chances after the 11:7 score line to extend the gap, while Aalborg showed a strong comeback before the half-time buzzer
- while the defence stood strong and immovable, the goalkeepers – Rodrigo Corrales and the Aalborg duo Mikael Aggefors/Simon Gade - did not have that huge an impact on the match
- Aalborg’s best weapons were the wings, in positional attack, but ever more often on counter-attacks, proved by the five goals of Kristian Björnsen and Buster Juul-Lassen’s six strikes
- Veszprém’s strongest period was right after the break, when the hosts – boosted by their incredible fans – pulled ahead from 20:18 to 25:19, their first six-goal advantage
- the host’s clear victory was a matter of team work: seven players scored four or more goals, topped by wing Gasper Marguc, who struck seven times
One series ends, one continues
Aalborg had extended their longest winning run in their EHF Champions League by winning their last seven group matches, but, at Veszprém, this impressive series came to an end. On the other side, the Hungarian side again proved that their arena is a true fortress; they remain unbeaten at home in this Champions League season, with now seven victories and one draw, but at the same time, Veszprém underlined their improvement in away matches by winning the last two, at Paris and Skopje, respectively.