Aalborg take revenge against Vardar
On 29 September, Vardar Skopje gave Aalborg their only loss to date in the EHF Champions League (30:28), now the Danish champions struck back in the early "re-match" two rounds later. The 33:29 score line against the 2017 and 2019 Champions League winners was Aalborg’s fourth victory in five matches. Top scorers were two legends of handball: Timur Dibirov hit the net nine times for Vardar; Aron Palmarsson scored eight times for the victors.
Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) vs HC Vardar 1961 (MKD) 33:29 (16:13)
- The lead changed five times in the first half, and Aalborg only managed to take control via a 3:0 run after the score read 12:12.
- Timur Dibirov was on fire in the first half, as the left wing scored nine of 13 goals for his side - and did not score any more after the break.
- Both goalkeepers - Simon Gade and Martin Tomovski - had outstanding performances in the last matches, but were both below par in the first half - both saving less than 20 per cent.
- With Aron Palmarsson on fire again one week after his comeback, Aalborg took a decisive 21:14 gap the 36th minute.
- But Vardar showed fighting spirit, now boosted by the Nyokas brothers Olivier and Alix Kevynn they reduced the gap to 29:27.
- Finally, Jesper Nielsen sealed the deal, when he scored the goal making it 31:27.
Aalborg back on track for the top position
After their sensational 2020/21 season, when they became the first-ever Danish team in an EHF Champions League final, Aalborg Håndbold somehow are now the "hunted" and not the "hunters". One almost thought the team of head coach Stefan Madsen wasn't going to be able cope with this pressure was proven wrong. The team definitely matured and grew as a team. Now, with Aron Palmarsson back on track, the Danish champions have an additional option - and they proved in the last two weeks that the defeat at Skopje was a single failure - and finally took revenge over Vardar to leave them behind in the ranking.
We knew it would be a very hard game and I think we did very well in the first half and the beginning of the second half, but they are a team that kept on fighting and we did not manage to close the game.