Brilliant second half lifts Benfica past Velenje
SL Benfica pleased their Portuguese home crowd Tuesday with a come-from-behind win over RK Gorenje Velenje (36:29) in the first leg of their EHF European League quarter-final.
The result put Benfica in the driving seat on the road to the EHF Finals Men, as they won the eighth of their nine European home games this season.
QUARTER-FINALS, FIRST LEG
SL Benfica (POR) vs RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) 36:29 (16:18)
- Velenje opened with great intensity and effectiveness and held on to a two-goal lead going into the break
- Benfica returned in completely different fashion for the second half; backed by goalkeeper Sergey Hernandez, they pulled off an offensive fest
- Benfica have now won eight of their nine home games in the competition this season, only losing to GOG in the group phase
- Petar Djordjic was instrumental for Benfica as he netted nine times, while Ibrahim Haseljic scored six from six for Velenje
- Aljaz Panjtar had 10 saves for Velenje, who have it all to do in the home leg in Slovenia next week
Serb connection offered smiles to home fans
Lazar Kukic with eight goals and Petar Djordjic with nine were decisive for Benfica as the Serbian pair helped Benfica create what looks like a comfortable lead in this duel. With 17 goals combined, this duo lifted the Eagles to great heights in the second half. Now can they fly into the EHF Finals 2022 next week?
They pushed us to victory, galvanised us, and led us to a good victory. It's not over yet. We are at the half-time of the tie.