Seventh heaven as Veszprém secure seventh EHF FINAL4 place
Telekom Veszprém have qualified for the EHF FINAL4 for the seventh time and will now travel to Cologne where they will chase a first EHF Champions League title.
After Veszprém’s dominant 36:29 victory on home ground in the first leg, Aalborg’s small hopes of a sensational comeback ended on Wednesday, but the Danish champions gave their fans something to cheer with a 37:35 victory.
Veszprém return to the FINAL4 after missing out in 2020/21. They played in four finals but lost them all, including three in Cologne.
QUARTER-FINAL; SECOND LEG:
Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) vs Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) 37:35 (20:21)
Veszprém win 71:66 on aggregate
- The 72 goals scored was the third highest total in their season’s Champions League. In both cases the fans saw 79 goals and in both cases Veszprem were involved and victorious: 47:32 vs Bucharest and 40:39 vs PSG
- after only 14 minutes, with the score 7:10, the aggregate margin was 10 goals, but Aalborg managed to recover to draw level at the break
- Buster Juul-Lassen and Norwegian Christian Björnsen were Aalborg’s key players in attack. They combined for 12 of the 20 goals the hosts scored in the first 30 minutes. By then 10 different Veszprém players had scored
- after 26:26, a treble strike from Mate Lekai, Rasmus Lauge and Patrik Ligetvari finally ended Aalborg’s hopes - but still, the hosts did not give in and turned the match around after a 6:1 run to make the score 32:30
- Björnsen and Juul-Lassen were the top scorers with nine goals each. Rasmus Lauge and Kentin Mahe scored each six times for Veszprém
Momir Ilic back at Cologne - now as a coach
As a player, Momir Ilic played 18 FINAL4 matches in Cologne, to put him second ranked in matches at FINAL4. He won the trophy twice in the LANXESS Arena with THW Kiel in 2010 and 2012 and was a finalist with Veszprém in 2015 and 2016, each time as the competition's top scorer.
Three years after his farewell on court Ilic is back in Cologne, this time as Veszprém’s coach. After winning the final tournament of the SEHA League in September right at the start of his coaching career, he has now steered the record Hungarian champions to the EHF FINAL4.
First congratulations for the Aalborg Team on winning the match today. It was a good match. I am really happy for my players. Last season we did not make it so we are really happy to be back.