Aalborg secures first CL win since October
Since a 41:29 away victory at Szeged on 6 October 2022, Aalborg Håndbold had not won any group matches in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League. In the re-match against the Hungarian champions, the hosts swept the series. Thanks to this 32:27 MOTW victory, Aalborg passes Szeged in the ranking and made a huge step towards the play-offs.
MOTW: Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) vs. Pick Szeged (HUN) 33:27 (15:11)
- Aalborg had to replace treble World Champion Mikkel Hansen, who is out with stress symptoms after steering Denmark to the gold medal in Stockholm
- the initial stages of the match were close with a slight advantage for Szeged. But, with the score 9:9 in minute 23, Aalborg took full control and scored a 6:2 run to finish the half, backed by four goals from Lukas Sandell
- in the second half, the closest gap was three goals at 16:13, but with the score at the 25:19 in minute 45, the winners were confirmed
- the hosts managed to defend Szeged’s physical strong back court and line player Bence Banhidi - another key for success besides their strong counter-attacks - best Pick scorer was wing, Sebastian Frimmel with seven goals
- Swede, Mikael Aggefors won the goalkeeper duel with nine saves against Szeged’s duo Roland Miler/Mirko Alliovic, who combined for the same number
Norwegian wings are there when it counts
After having to replace their top scorer and back court ace, Mikkel Hansen, Aalborg needed to change their tactics a bit - and they did it in the classical Scandinavian way, by running a series of counter-attacks. And, the two Norwegian wings, Sebastian Barthold and Kristian Bjørnsen were close to perfection in running those fast-breaks. Scoring eight times from nine attempts, Barthold was not only the top scorer of the MOTW, but was also awarded Player of the Match. Bjørnsen added five strikes from seven attempts.
It was very important for us to get some points in this group. And, I was really happy about the way we performed. We knew it would be a very tough fight with the line players and that we needed to stick together in our defence.