20200830 EL BSH Melsungen 2
EHF European League

Bjerringbro win highlight clash to conclude European League weekend

European club handball returned with a bang this weekend as 22 teams competed in qualification round 1 of the EHF European League Men.

HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös were the first team to progress after a comfortable win in a double header, which was the exception on a weekend full of surprisingly close games.

  • Gyöngyös make history with their first European win in the very first EL game
  • Favourites pushed hard at home as Benfica edge past Fivers and Skjern overturn Malmö
  • Bjerringbro-Silkeborg beat MT Melsungen 31:27 in the final game of the weekend
  • Chris O'Reilly reporting

We followed the action live as it unfolded - here is the story of the weekend

Some really nice shots here from Bjerringbro as they captured the physical essence of tonight's match. That's it for the live blog tonight and the weekend. We'll be back next weekend with the second leg clashes in European League qualification round 1.

I think it is fair to say this match has delivered on its promise. Plenty of goals, the lead switching hands, red cards, great individual performances and the odd moment of madness.

Man of the match for me was Lasse Mikkelsen for the losing side, banging in 11 goals, while William Bogojevic deserves a lot of credit for Bjerringbro having scored seven on his competitive debut for them.

20:06 - Result: Bjerringbro-Silkeborg 31:27 MT Melsungen
Kaboom! Big underarm shot by Nikolaj Øris makes it a four-goal lead for Bjerringbro and that's how it ends.
Great result for the home side, considering how tight the match was and that result gives them a real chance ahead of next weekend's second leg in Germany.

Aaaah, what was Kai Häfner doing?
Three goals down, a minute left, a man up in attack and he runs though but decides to pass on to the right wing, before causing the turnover by loitering inside the six-metre area. Brain fart!

It's a one-man show here as Lasse Mikkelsen takes his tally to 11 goals, keeping Melsungen in touch! 27:26 with seven minutes remaining and Bjerringbro will be without Rene Toft Hansen for it as he has received his third two-minute suspension.

William Bogojevic gives Bjerringbro a 25:23 lead with his fifth goal of the game.

The 23-year-old Swede had a breakout season with Sävehof in the EHF Champions League last season and appears to be settling into life with his new club very well.

Melsungen haven't lost their heads and have responded quite well to the red card, staying in touch with their hosts with well-worked attacking play.

It's BSV who have a 22:21 lead now though, thanks to an August Pederson fast break, 19 minutes left.

Just before the start of the second half, the Danish commentators were highlighting the importance of Julius Kühn. Barely a minute into the half, an illegal forearm challenge right to the face of William Bogojevic sees the German international receive a direct red card.

The commentators agree this gives BSV a big chance now - 17:17 after 33 minutes.

When these sides met here in Denmark in the group phase of the EHF Cup earlier in 2020, it was a similarly entertaining affair. Melsungen led 19:16 at the half, before the hosts rallied in the second period to win 35:31. 

A similar second half would be warmly welcomed by the socially-distanced yet enthusiastic crowd here.

19:08 - Half-time: Bjerringbro-Silkeborg 16:16 MT Melsungen
I told you this would be a good one! 32 goals in 30 minutes and nothing to separate the sides at the break. Mikkelsen having a stormer against his countrymen, scoring six, while world champions Nikolaj Øris leads the way for Bjerringbro with four goals.

The guests are finding their way into the match now, led by Danish playmaker Lasse Mikkelsen, who is well used to playing heated games here during his time as a Skjern player.

He's scored five and Melsungen now have a 12:11 lead with just over five minutes left in the half.

It's worth noting that Melsungen are short two important players today. Finn Lehmke and Silvio Heinevetter are in quarantine after being in contact with a physiotherapist who tested positive for COVID-19 during the week.

We'll see how big an impact their absence makes, at the moment it's 7:4 to BSV after 15 minutes.

Johan Sjöstrand is coming back to haunt his former club in these opening nine minutes. Some huge saves from the Swede and Bjerringbro lead 5:2.

There is just one match to look forward to on Sunday, but goodness me is it worthy of its standalone spot.

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg and MT Melsungen face off for the third time in 2020, having split the victories when they met in last season’s EHF Cup group phase.

An added twist in the tale is that BSV’s summer signing Johan Sjöstrand will face the team he just left and players he knows all too well. We're live on EHFTV at 18:30.

17:30 - Welcome to Sunday's coverage
Howdy folks. We're back with one last match this weekend and it is, in my opinion, the highest quality of them all.

EHF Champions League regulars Bjerringbro-Silkeborg take on the ambitious German club MT Melsungen and it's coming your way at 18:30 CET.


That's all she wrote for the first full day of competition in the European League. Some really fun matches today and with so many of them being so close, it bodes well for the second leg ties next weekend.

We're back tomorrow at 17:30 CET, building up to the weekend's highlight match Bjerringbro-Silkeborg vs MT Melsungen, which has a lot to live up to after today's drama.

HEDO B-Braun Gyöngyös may have lost to HC Butel Skopje today, but their job was done last night and they are the first side this weekend to progress to qualification round 2 with a 58:46 aggregate win.

Their coach Csaba Konkoly was not as delighted with today’s display but takes solace in the overall victory.

”The biggest difference between yesterday's and today's match was the team from Skopje. In the second match, they brought what we were prepared for. On the first day, we were very focused, on the second day we got into a swing which we shouldn’t have.

”We are very happy and thank the background workers for organising these two matches here, there is a huge amount of work in this. Congratulations to everyone at the club for successfully concluding our first international round.”

20:25 - Result: Club de Futebol Os Belenenses 23:28 RK Trimo Trebnje
RK Trimo Trebnje get the job done in the end. Better composure and tactical solutions in the final 12 minutes made all the difference in the end as they claimed a five-goal win, which is a bit harsh on Belenenses.

I'm getting serious Neville Southall vibes from Belenenses keeper Miguel Moreira. He's been pulling off some brilliant saves and giving Uros Zorman a real headache, but nothing he can do about a few successive empty-net goals and all of a sudden Trimo Trebnje hold a 22:20 lead with 9 minutes remaining.

The final match of the day on EHFTV is building up to a thrilling climax as Club de Futebol Os Belenenses and RK Trimo Trebnje are trading the lead. 19:19 with just 14 minutes left to play in Portugal.

We now have the majority of results in for today in the European League and incredibly only one game saw a clear margin of victory, so let's take a quick look.

Skjern Handbold vs HK Malmö 27:26
SKA Minsk vs HC CSKA 25:25
SL Benfica vs Fivers 28:26
AHC Potaissa Turda vs HRK Gorica 24:26
HC Dobragea Sud Constanta vs HC Victor 26:18
HC Butel Skopje vs HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös 25:24 (Gyöngyös win 58:46 on aggregate)
HC Kriens-Luzern vs RK Dubrava 29:27

After spending a sporting lifetime with Zagreb, Zlatko Horvat is making his European debut for HC Metalurg tonight. It's been a quiet first half for the right wing, but his team is flying and up 17:12 against RK Spacva Vinkovci at half-time.

It's a scrappy old game in Belém as Belenenses and Trebnje cannot be separated - 12:12 at half-time. An in-flight attempt from the hosts right before the buzzer sums up the overall mood of this game, but the spirit and desire is there. Let's hope it inspires a dramatic second half.

19:10 - Result: HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta 26:18 HC Victor
A bit of bad blood towards the end as Irakli Chikovani and Roman Tcokol have an altercation, leading them both to receive their third two-minute suspension and a red card each.

It has no real impact on the final score, however, as Constanta cruise to an eight-goal win and put one foot in qualification round 2.

Big day for both Club de Futebol Os Belenenses, returning to Europe for the first time in 11 years, and RK Trimo Trebnje, who have the Uros Zorman making his bow as a head coach.

It is our final live match of the day on EHFTV from 19:00 CET.

The game has really opened up between Contanta and Victor, but mostly to the benefit of the home side. 16 minutes left to play and they lead 19:13 now, with nine of the goals coming from Ionut Nistor Ionita. None of the four games so far today have been won by more than two goals, this run is coming to a close.

There are plenty of European League matches on besides those on EHFTV, which you can keep a good eye on with the live ticker at the top of this page.

It's all about Ionut Nistor Ionita this evening in Constanta.

The Romanian has put away seven goals, four from the penalty line, as his side lead HC Victor 11:7 at the break.

Gyöngyös' hammering of Butel Skopje has been the exception of the weekend so far, with every other match being a close-run affair. We'll see if the Macedonian club can redeem themselves from 18:00 CET on EHFTV.

We're off to Romania now for the next match live on EHFTV - HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta vs HC Victor. The home side from Romania are regular competitors at this level, while their Russian visitors are more used to the competition formerly known as the Challenge Cup. 

And it's Constanta who have raced into an early 4:2 advantage.

17:29 - Result: SL Benfica 28:26 Fivers
Very strong final push by the guests from Austria to leave this tie hanging in the balance ahead of next weekend's second leg.

Benfica looked comfortable at times, but Fivers kept plugging away and will be happy with the final result, despite missing four penalties.

The crazy thing about this match is that Fivers have been creating plenty of chances, high-percentage chances as well, but they're very wasteful.

They've taken eight shots more than Benfica, but have a scoring percentage of 41, compared to Benfica's 70.
Mind you, Spanish goalkeeper Sergey Hernandez is playing his part in keeping Fivers at bay with some brilliant saves today and his side lead 24:20 with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Benfica really gaining confidence in defence now, squeezing Fivers and forcing them into long-range shots. 17 minutes left to play and the home side lead 21:15.

Now here's a satisfied customer for you. John Ryan from Team Handball News happy with the crystal clear picture on the stream. Don't take his word for it, check it out yourself.

16:46 - Half-time: Benfica 15:12 Fivers
Experienced European campaigner Petar Djordjic the most prolific man for Benfica in a topsy turvy first half against Fivers.

The hosts looked comfortable at most points, but have some weaknesses to be exposed, making for an intriguing second half in Lisbon.

I'm expecting more from big Tobias Wagner in the second half, not converting his chances so far on the line for Fivers. I trained with him for a while about six years ago and my shoulder nearly popped out of its socket the first time I tried to tackle him...

16:32 - Result: Skjern Handbold 27:26 HK Malmö
Anders Eggert shows the value of experience in the dying minutes as he scores two quick goals to give Skjern their first two-goal lead of the second half.

Malmö refuse to back down, however, and create one final chance to equalise. With just four court players, they fail to find a good shot and Skjern scrape a one-goal win. Brilliant start to the day!

It won't surprise you to learn that Fivers have the number 5 included in every player's squad number. 
That quirk is not proving lucky for them so far, as they trail 5:2 and have taken the first timeout of the game against Benfica after 12 minutes.

We're into the final quarter of Skjern vs Malmö and we could have a bit of a shock on our hands. The Swedish side lead 21:19 and look comfortable at the moment. Whatever happens, Malmö will be confident going into the second leg at home.

The first match of the day on EHFTV is just minutes away as a Chema Rodriguez-led Benfica welcome Fivers from Vienna, who despite being a regular contender in Austria, have not played in Europe since 2011. Catch the game live from 16:00 CET on EHFTV.

15:37 - Half-time: Skjern Handbold 12:12 HK Malmö
It looked like Skjern were going to break away here, opening an 11:8 lead, but Malmö found their second wind late in the half, going on a 3:0 run and drawing level just before the break.

Swedish international Viktor Östlund has plenty of experience in Denmark as a former Holstebro player and is heavily involved for Malmö so far, scoring twice.

The guests are holding their own so far, sitting level at 7:7 after 20 minutes.

Slow start in Skjern as we've been treated to just six goals in the first ten minutes with the Swedes holding a two-goal lead.

Game on in Denmark. 2018 EHF Champions League quarter-finalists Skjern the favourites here at home, let's see if they can live up to expectations.

Not long to wait until our first game of the day and it's nice Scandinavian derby between Skjern and Malmö at 15:00 CET. But safety first!

14:10 - Hello and welcome to Saturday's coverage of the EHF European League Men

After a short and sweet intro to the new European handball season on Friday, we're back with much more today - nine matches in total, four of which are live on EHFTV.

16:00 CEST: Benfica vs Fivers
17:30 CEST: HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta vs HC Victor
18:00 CEST: HC Butel Skopje vs HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös
19:00 CEST: Club Futebol Os Belenenses vs RK Trimo Trebnje


We'll leave it for tonight with a look at some of the best pictures from Hungary. Catch you for more European League fun tomorrow afternoon from 14:00 CET!

There you have it! Congrats to the wolves of Gyöngyös for their first international victory and the very first victory in the EHF European League.

This action-packed weekend has just begun, however, and we'll be back on Saturday from 14:00 with more live reporting from a busy day across Europe and the following matches on EHFTV.com.

16:00 CEST: Benfica vs Fivers
17:30 CEST: HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta vs HC Victor
18:00 CEST: HC Butel Skopje vs HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös
19:00 CEST: Club Futebol Os Belenenses vs RK Trimo Trebnje

Gyöngyös have plenty to be pleased about with this evening's performance. They took control early and made life easy for themselves, racked up an unassailable lead by half-time, rotated the bench and all-but-guaranteed their progression to qualification round 2.

If I were their coach, they would definitely be allowed a cheeky beverage tonight, ahead of tomorrow evening's second leg.

20:30 - Full-time: HEDO B. Braun Gyöngyös 34:21 HC Butel Skopje
The guests bring up the 20-goal mark, which adds an element of respectability to the scoreline. Fitting as well that Mirko Majic scored the final two goals for his side as he was the outstanding contributor with nine goals.

It was an improvement in the second half from Butel, overall, but they were clearly overrun by a superior side in Gyöngyös; technically, tactically and physically.

18-year-old Oliver Jaros has come in at right back in the second half and scored a couple of nice goals, showing some serious hops as well. This is the perfect opportunity for a young player like him to experience this level as his team is cruising - 33:19 with three minutes left on the clock.

It has been a relatively even second half, which is what you'd expect to see given Gyöngyös' healthy lead.

The home side can afford to take their foot off the gas, rotate the squad and keep bodies fresh for tomorrow's second leg.

Nevertheless, they're still increasing the lead - 29:16 with 12 minutes left to play.

In-flight goals are a nothing unusual in handball these days, but Gyöngyös just scored a really nice one to make it 23:10, put away by Milán Vardandán. We'll be seeing that one a few times on social media in days to come.

We're back on the road here in Hungary and the hosts have picked up where they left off, with two quick goals from Slovakian international Lubomir Duris to make it a 12-goal game.

By the way, it's great to see a crowd again at a live sporting event and to hear them - none of this fake crowd noise tonight!

17:7 to Gyöngyös as the sides head into the dressing room. Hard to see a way back in this game for the Skopje side, but with the second leg tomorrow, they know they must keep plugging away, try to keep the score respectable and figure out how to trouble their opponents along the way.

It may seem impossible now, but this tie is just a quarter of the way through.

We're heading into the final minutes of the first half here and it's not looking good for Skopje.
Simple mistakes at both ends of the court and they look clearly off the pace of the game. It appears they have tried to increase their physicality, but that has just caused indiscipline.

Seven minutes until the break and the hosts lead 14:5.

History is being made all-around today as not only is this the first match of the new EHF European League, but it is also both side's first foray into European handball.

Only one of the teams appear to be adjusting to this new experience, however, as Gyöngyös now hold a 9:3 lead at the quarter-hour mark. This is looking bleak for the lads from Skopje.

It takes almost 10 minutes for the visitors from Skopje to get off the mark and now they have a lot of work to do. Gyöngyös making it look far too easy in attack, taking a 7:1 lead after just 11 minutes on the clock

We're underway in Gyöngyös and the hosts are off to a flying start, tearing through the open and high-pressing Butel defence to go 3:0 up while Mihaly Toth makes a big penalty save and giving us a big old grin in celebration.

Not long to wait now. The live stream has begun and you can now tune in to watch HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös vs HC Butel Skopje on EHFTV.com.


We have a packed schedule tomorrow to look forward to and Benfica's Arnau García Barceló is clearly pumped to face his first challenge of the season against Austrian side Fivers.

There's plenty of live handball to look forward to this weekend and if you're like me, you'll want to squeeze every last drop of action possible.

Here are the matches coming your way on the new-look EHFTV.com.

Friday 28 August
19:00 CEST: HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös vs HC Butel Skopje

Saturday 29 August
16:00 CEST: Benfica vs Fivers
17:30 CEST: HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta vs HC Victor
18:00 CEST: HC Butel Skopje vs HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös
19:00 CEST: Club Futebol Os Belenenses vs RK Trimo Trebnje

Sunday 30 August
18:30 CEST: Bjerringbro-Silkeborg vs MT Melsungen

Before we get underway today, test your knowledge with some handball trivia. Tweet us @ehfel_official with a screenshot if you get all the questions right and you'll receive a special shout out on the blog today.

Guess what? European club handball is back!

The EHF European League Men launches this evening with some Friday night handball and I, Chris O'Reilly, will be here to guide you through the action today and throughout the weekend.

There is nothing more fitting to launch a new competition than a good old double header and that is what HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös and HC Butel Skopje will treat us to – throwing-off in their first leg this evening at 19:00 CET. Both matches taking place in Hungary will be streamed on the new-look EHFTV.com.

Latest news

More News