Defending champions Magdeburg storm into EHF Finals
A ruthless performance from SC Magdeburg ensured there would be no surprise comeback from HBC Nantes in the second leg of their EHF European League Men quarter-final on Tuesday.
A mission which had looked difficult enough for Nantes before throw-off became almost impossible early into the match as the hosts built a five-goal lead in the opening 15 minutes, helped by a stellar performance from Michael Damgaard.
The Danish left back scored 12 times, and while Nantes came back on the scoreboard in the final minutes of the game, the French visitors could not force a token victory.
QUARTER-FINALS, LEG 2
SC Magdeburg (GER) vs HBC Nantes (FRA) 30:28 (16:12)
First leg: 28:25. Magdeburg win 58:53 on aggregate
- the hosts put their foot to the pedal right from the first moments of the game, building a significant early lead that they kept throughout the first half
- with Michael Damgaard on fire from their backcourt, Magdeburg extended their aggregate lead to nine goals with only 15 minutes left to play
- the Danish left back was the leading scorer in the game, netting 12 times
- with Pedro Portela playing an important role, Nantes narrowed the score on the night to just one goal a few minutes before the final buzzer, but it was not enough
- Magdeburg, last season’s winners of the European League, will play their second straight EHF Finals
Michael Damgaard displays true level
Michael Damgaard drifted through the first leg of the tie almost like a ghost. And there clearly was revenge in the air, as the Magdeburg left back netted seven times in the first half alone, including one goal from 11 metres to put his team four ahead at the break. The Danish international showed no mercy for his compatriot Emil Nielsen, forcing the Nantes goalkeeper out of the game after only 15 minutes. Forty-five minutes of action later, he was leading Magdeburg to the EHF Finals.
We are very happy about this victory and look forward even more to the upcoming Finals.