Nexe write history for maiden EHF FINALS
Nexe rode their highs and pulled through their lows in the return match of their EHF European League Men quarter-final against GOG on Tuesday, to book their place in the final four of a European competition for the first time.
The Croatian side started the game well and opened up a four-goal lead in the first half, to move nine goals ahead on aggregate. Needing a huge swing to turn the tie in their favour, GOG changed their defence and made it hard for Nexe’s shooters to score.
In a match with a high number of goals, fast breaks, amazing shots and even better saves, Nexe were keeping the rhythm high until the end. The best GOG could do was not letting Nexe win, levelling in the finals second of the game.
QUARTER-FINALS, LEG 2
GOG (DEN) vs RK Nexe (CRO) 37:37 (22:20)
First leg: 27:32. Nexe won 69:64 on aggregate
- Nexe started off strong, backed up by good defence and saves from Mihailo Radovanovic
- fast breaks were key for Nexe’s lead, hitting a four-goal lead (17:13) in 20th minute
- GOG’s change to 5-1 defence and Nexe’s lack of concentration resulted with a home team comeback, taking a two-goal lead into half-time
- The Danish side were close to levelling the tie when moving to 26:22 early in the second half, but Nexe responded with six goals in a row and held firm at the back with fine saves from Dominik Kuzmanovic
- GOG’s head coach Nicolej Krickau gave opportunities to young players in his squad, such as 17-year-old Lykke Hjalte
- Simon Ptylick with 11 goals was GOG’s main player; for Nexe Halil Jaganjac was once again unstoppable, netting 12 times
Goalkeepers make the difference
Two young talents took the spotlight in the match, proving the goalkeepers can make a difference. GOG’s Matthias Rene Rex Dorgelo took over from Viktor Hallgrimsson midway through the first half, building a wall in front of his goal. With six saves at crucial times, Dorgelo gave GOG a foundation for potentially turning the tie around. For Nexe, 19-year old Dominik Kuzmanovic stepped up, making four straight saves to help Nexe score six unasnwered goals at the other end.