Flensburg make it three out of three with clear win over Valur
SG Flensburg-Handewitt remain the only unbeaten side in the group, after taking a clear 37:32 win against Valur, despite their roster shortcomings. Meanwhile Spanish side Benidorm extended their rut in the debut in the group phase of an European competition, conceding their third loss in a row, 27:29 against Ystads IF HF.
Last season, PAUC Handball finished last in their group in the EHF European League Men, with three points, after winning a single game and drawing another one. After only three games this season, the French side have already beaten their previous performance, taking two wins, with the latest one coming against FTC, 33:30. The Hungarian side led at the break, 17:14, but collapsed in the second half, conceding 19 goals, with their defence once again their Achilles heel. In fact, no team has conceded more goals than FTC after three rounds, 110, as Mathieu Ong and Ian Tarrafeta combined for 13 goals.
Goalkeeper Niklas Kraft has been nothing short of amazing for Ystads, finishing the game with 14 saves for a 35 per cent save efficiency, as the Swedish outfit finally broke their losing streak and clinched a win in a group phase of an European competition. Ystads' left back Jonathan Svensson scored seven times. Kim Andersson, now 40 years old, added six goals from seven shots to apply more pressure on the hosts, who lost their third game in a row. This was Ystads' first win in a group phase of an European competition since March 2016, when they also emerged victorious in an away match against Spanish opposition, 23:22, against Helvetia Anaitasuna.
Flensburg are still missing two key players in their back line, centre back Jim Gottfridsson and right back Magnus Abelvik Rød, but make it look easy in the EHF European League Men. The German powerhouse weathered the storm when they met one of the most powerful attacks in the competition, Valur, taking a clear 37:32 win. Iceland right back Teitur Örn Einarsson was Flensburg's top scorer, putting seven goals past his former rivals. Flensburg emerged victorious from the battle pitting together the two teams that won the first two matches in the group and now lead the standings with six points, one of only four teams in the competition with maximum amount of points after three rounds.
I have never played in front of so many people here on Valur homecourt and it was a lot of fun. It's really nice to see how well Valur is doing this and the setting here is absolutely top class.