Aalborg make history as first ever Danish finalists
They danced on the court, they were shouting and singing: Aalborg Håndbold made history as the first ever Danish side to proceed to the final of the Men’s EHF Champions League. In a goal-fest, head coach Stefan Madsen’s side eliminated favourites Paris Saint-Germain 35:33 on Saturday.
While the EHF FINAL4 debutants turned a 16:21 deficit right after the break into a sensational win, Paris failed on their way to the final for the fourth time in their fifth appearance in Cologne.
Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA) vs Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) 33:35 (15:13)
- Aalborg did not score a single goal in the first nine minutes – and could be happy that goalkeeper Mikael Aggefors saved some important shots
- eight minutes before the break, PSG were ahead by 10:6, before Aalborg struck back, reducing the gap to 13:15 at the break with Swedish player Felix Claar on fire, scoring five of his eight goals in the first 30 minutes
- PSG were brilliant in the opening period of the second half, as the French backs Nedim Remili (his team’s top scorer with seven strikes) and Elohim Prandi were unstoppable in attack
- but Aalborg never gave up, and their change of goalkeeper from Aggefors to 24-year-old Simon Gade was crucial
- from a 16:21 deficit, Aalborg scored a 9:3 run to take the first lead at 25:24 11 minutes before the buzzer
- the result was levelled several times, but Paris never regained the lead, and Lukas Sandell scored the winners’ strike with eight seconds to go
- three-time EHF Champions League winner Nikola Karabatic had his comeback in this competition after being out for almost seven months after a severe knee injury
- PSG superstar Mikkel Hansen is the new all-time top scorer of the EHF FINAL4 tournaments after scoring six against Aalborg. Currently, the Dane is on 66 goals, one strike ahead of Kiril Lazarov, who plays later with Nantes
Aalborg first ever Danish Men’s Champions League finalists
Danish women’s clubs such as Viborg HK and Slagelse were constant winners of the EHF Champions League until 2010, but a men’s team from Denmark has never reached the same heights.
While KIF Kolding were semi-finalists in 2002, losing to eventual winners SC Magdeburg, AG København were the first Danish side at the EHF FINAL4 in 2012 after eliminating Barcelona in the quarter-final.
But AGK – including Mikkel Hansen and current Aalborg assistant coach Arnor Atlason – were stopped by Atletico Madrid in the semi-final. Now, Aalborg, as the second Danish team ever at Cologne, make history by being the first ever Danish Men’s Champions League finalists.
I got no more hair to lose. I’m about 10 to 15 years older now, and just as proud.