Some big names put one foot in the door after leg 1
We moved onto the next phase of qualification in the Men's European League 2021/22 season. On Tuesday night we saw some of the bigger names put one foot forward in the battle for those illustrious group phase spots. But there is still a lot to fight for as we saw in our highlight match of the evening between Rhein-Neckar Löwen and SL Benfica: both sides left the court inseparable after 60 minutes, setting up a tasty return leg.
Read out bite-size review of each tie below and note that the return legs will take place on Tuesday the 28th of September.
MEN'S EUROPEAN LEAGUE QUALIFICATION ROUND 2 LEG 1
KS Azoty-Pulawy SA vs Füchse Berlin 24:32 (13:11)
- After four minutes the Polish hosts were up thanks to Akimenko who topped off a 3:0 run.
- KS Azoty-Pulawy SA stayed in control of the entire first half with Polish legend Michal Jurecki looked brightest and netted three.
- The hosts held their own until the 40-minute mark when goals from Marsenic, Wiede, Vujovic closed the gap and pulled it level at 19:19.
- This was the start of the German side turning the screw and with an improved defense they went on a hellish 10:0 run, steamrolling the hosts, taking it from 19:15 to 25:19 to the Foxes.
- Lasse Andersson and Hans Lindberg shared the spoils of top scorer with seven goals each
ØIF Arendal vs PAUC Handball 27:27 (17:15)
- ØIF Arendal took an early 2:0 thanks to a seven-meter conversion from 33-year-old Sondre Paulsen.
- When Nicolas Claire scored for PAUC to pull them within one at 12:11, that was as close as the French side got in the first half with the host restoring a three-goal gap at the break.
- Thierry Anti's changes at half-time did wonders as the visitors opened the first half well, going on a 5:2 run (20:19 to PAUC)
- But the hosts regrouped and Paulsen was once again on hand to give them the lead at 23:23.
- The teams remained deadlocked with Gjermundnes’ (top scorer with 7) goal giving us the final result of 27:27.
USAM Nimes Gard vs HC CSKA 36:29 (17:13)
- When Fokin netted to make it 9:6 to CSKA, things were looking good for the speedy Russian visitors.
- However, a 6:0 run for Nimes gave the hosts a massive boost with CSKA not scoring for the last eight minutes of the second half (17:13).
- The second half started as the last finished with CKSA suffering from poor shooting and a two-minute suspension for Kiselev (21:14).
- A red card (47’) to Ilchenko was a further blow for CSKA
- Mohamed Sanad was the true star of the evening for Nimes netting an epic 14 goals (5 penalties).
- The French side now take a huge seven-goal lead with them to Russia for the return.
GOG vs Mors-Thy Handbold 30:24 (16:12)
- GOG opened the all-Danish duel scoring through a goal from Bergendahl and this it was quickly followed by reply from Lasse Pedersen making 1:1 after a minute.
- Jerry Tollbring opened a three-goal gap at 6:3 and from here on out it was all GOG.
- By the half-time mark the hosts opened up a 16:12 gap thanks to superstar Gidsel.
- Both sides started the second half poorly with no goal until the 36-minute mark after many missed chances.
- But the result never looked in doubt with Jerry Tollbring netting most for GOG with his 7 (from 11 shots) followed by Mathais Gidsel 6 (7 shots) and Swedish Oscar Bergendahl who had a perfect evening netting all five of his chances.
Kadetten Schaffhausen vs Fraikin BM. Granollers 36:33 (21:17)
- EHF Champions League winner Joan Cañellas pulled it level at 3:3 for his new club Kadetten Schaffhausen against his old club Fraikin BM. Granollers.
- The teams kept it close until Kadetten went on a 6:2 run late in the second half making it 19:15.
- Early in the second half a six-goal gap had opened up thanks to a huge effort from the Swiss outfit, topped off with a goal by German Jones Schopper 26:20.
- However, the hosts ran out of steam and found themselves only up by one when Joaquin Muñoz scored 27:26 (46’).
- Joan Cañellas (top scorer of the evening with 10/14) finished the second half really strongly with four goals to help open up a four-goal gap.
- It is all to play for the return leg in Spain with the three-goal cushion setting up a tasty return leg.
Orlen Wisla Plock vs HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta 25:14 (7:6)
- After a bizarre opening 18 minutes, the score stood at a mere 2:2 after a flurry of missed chances, blocks, steals, and 2-minutes suspensions.
- The poor shooting continued for both in a similar fashion with score reading 7:6 to the hosts at the half-time buzzer. Time to regroup.
- Things improved greatly for Plock at the start of the second half with them racking up a 6:2 run (13:8)
- And once the game settled the Polish hosts took the game by the scruff of the neck with Russian Sergei Kosorotov being hottest in front of goal netting 6 from 10 chances.
Rhein-Neckar Löwen vs SL Benfica 31:31 (15:16)
- The highlight match of the day didn’t let us down with the two big names being inseparable after 60 minutes.
- It was a tense opening couple of minutes and when Petar Djordjic netted, we were poised at 6:6.
- From there it was the visitors who looked sharper with their new signing and EHF Champions League winner Rogerio Moraes netting to make it 11:8 to Benfica.
- Two goals from legendary winger Uwe Gensheimer brought us level twice first to 14:14 then to 15:15 before trigger happy Djordjic netted his fifth giving Benfica a one-goal lead at the buzzer.
- Ex-THW Kiel player Ole Rahmel topped off a bright start for Benfica to the second half (19:17) after 34 minutes.
- And the side from Portugal remained in control until young Slovenian Kristjan Horzen netted to pull it level for the Lions 25:25.
- A late red card for Alexis Borges Hernandez handed Uwe Gensheimer a seven-meter throw to tie the game heading into the return leg.
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg vs RK Nexe 33:27 (16:14)
- A huge start from the visitors saw Nexe take a 6:3 after 10 minutes.
- The hosts struck back with two goals from Tilsted and one from Horgen to pulled it level at 6:6. Nexe dug deep once again to open up another three-goal gap topped off by Mario Tomic (11:8 for Nexe).
- When the young Swede Hällback sprung up to net two goals at the end of the first the tide was starting to turn (16:14).
- The second half was in the host’s control; it reached a climax in the 45th minutes when Nielsen hit the net to open a six-goal gap.
- A red card for Severec (Nexe) in the 56th minutes of the final blow, gifting the hosts a 3:1 run in the final minutes to close the tie.
- The top scorers for Bjerringbro-Silkeborg were Nielsen, Lassen, Tilsted all with five goals. While Halil Jaganjac continues to make waves scoring 10 goals for Nexe.
Valur Iceland vs TBV Lemgo Lippe 26:27 (17:14)
- An amazing start for the Icelandic side saw them go 12:7 up after 16 minutes.
- Goalkeeper and big name Bjorgvin Pall Gustavsson was handed a red card after 23 minutes & Lemgo got their own red card via Jonathan Carlsbogard right before the buzzer, bringing the very physical first 30 minutes to a close.
- Two missed chances by Olafsson and Stefansson gave Lemgo's Zerbe and Hutecek chances to pull it level finally in the 48th minute.
- Full drama on display at the end with Valur's Valencia and Stefansson both picking up two-minutes suspensions, gifting fellow countryman Elisson of Lemgo two penalty shots and their first lead of the game (26:25, 55').
- Top scorers for the night were Oli Magnus Magnusson with 7/9 for Valur Iceland & fellow Icelander Bjarki Mar Elisson with 9/10.
Fenix Toulouse Handball vs HK Malmö 30:24 (14:11)
- After 13 minutes the sides were all level at 5:5 thanks to a goal from Malmö's Anton Blickhammar.
- A 7:1 run then followed for the French side as they made good use of Ilic, Vieira and Azcue (12:6).
- A flurry of missed shots from both sides coloured the end of the first half as we stumbled over the line after 30 minutes (14:11).
- The opening section of the second half saw the hosts go almost 2:1 as the gap opened to 23:17 (42')
- A 4:1 run right at the end topped off a solid outing for the hosts while Malmö will be kicking themselves for their poor shooting and lack of discipline.
- Top scorers for the night were Nemanja Ilic with 8/9 for Toulouse and Hampus Jildenback with 7/9 for Malmö.
Sporting CP vs TTH Holstebro 31:25 (18:14)
- It wasn't until around the 25-minute mark that we got a real taste of what this game had to offer, when Sporting opened up a 16:12 gap after some impressive defensive work from Sporting.
- Sporting were on fire at the beginning of the second half opening up a 23:16 lead after a 4:1 despite picking up a 2-minutes suspension for Mota de Costa.
- Hostebro will have a lot of homework to do for the return leg with their huge task of closing that six-goal gap on the very impressive Sporting side who were well set up for today's tie.
- Top scorers: Carlos Ruesga 5/8 and Josep Ortiz 5/6 & Rasmus Kier with 5/6.
BM Logrono La Rioja vs Abanca Ademar Leon 34:30 (20:15)
- A cagey opening few minutes saw the sizes stuck in a deadlock at 5:5 after Gonzalo Perez Arce netted his second of the night.
- A 3:0 run in the 24th minutes was the first time we saw the hosts show their authority, racking up 18:13 lead.
- The five-goal gap they kept at the break but the hosts let it slip at the beginning of the second due to 6:2 run by Leon which saw them eventually pull level thanks to Marko Milosavljevic 22:22.
- It remained close until the 52nd minute when started to mount a 6:2 run which saw them finish with a +4-advantage going into the second leg.
- Top scorers for the night were Leonardo Ferreira 12/20 for La Rioja & Gonzalo Perez Arce 6/9 for Leon