DAY REVIEW 2: Round 1 of group matches ends with goal fests
The first evening of the new EHF European League Men group matches finished on a high late Tuesday, with plenty of records beaten from European powerhouses. While SG Flensburg-Handewitt delivered their largest-ever numbers of goals scored in an European competition with 46, Dinamo Bucuresti secured their largest-ever win in European competitions: 52:24 against HC Izvidac.
Dinamo’s win was also the largest in the history of the EHF European League Men, beating the previous record set by Montpellier (40:16, against Besiktas in November 2020), with the Romanian side also beating the record for most goals scored (46, set by GOG and Frisch Auf Goppingen).
From the Top 5 Matches
At 38 years old, wing Valero Rivera is still going strong, delivering another vintage match for HBC Nantes. While Rivera scored 95 goals in the EHF Champions League three seasons ago and 78 goals last season, he was once again shining against Benfica, with an 11-goal outing in Nantes’ 37:28 win. Benfica, which sealed the title two seasons ago in the second-tier European competition, will need more especially in attack, as their main weapons did not deliver as much as it was expected from them.
Goalkeeper Dominik Kuzmanovic underlined his importance for RK Nexe once again, two seasons after he helped his side earn a place in the EHF Finals Men. Kuzmanovic saved 11 shots in the first 40 minutes and finished the match with a 40% saving efficiency, frustrating Skjern, whose attacking prowess was limited to 10 goals in the first half and 25 goals throughout the match. One of the most consistent sides in the EHF European League Men over the last three years, Nexe look like one of the teams to beat this season too, especially after putting 39 goals past their opponents in this match.
Flensburg’s pair of Møllers, goalkeeper Kevin and left back Lasse Kjær, were outstanding for the German powerhouse, as Nicolej Krikau’s side made a statement win against Kadetten Schaffhausen on Tuesday evening. Flensburg broke their own record for the number of goals scored in an European competition – 44 against Swedish side Redbergslids in the 2003/04 season of the Machineseeker EHF Champions League – as Lasse Møller scored 11 goals, while Kevin Møller finished the match with a 45% saving efficiency.
It is a great start to win this first European League game at home, with a high-score difference and against a strong opponent in a tough group. We have been patient, consistent and gained confidence. Hopefully, this was game has ignited us, now we must continue this trend.
This was nice. It was good for us to have a match with full control. And the attack was on top level. Of course, it was important to start the group matches with a win - but we always want to win. And especially in this new structure of the European League, where you take the points with you to the next phase.
In case you missed it...
with an outstanding attack, Dinamo Bucuresti clinched their largest-ever win in European competitions, 52:24, against HC Izvidac, also securing the largest-ever win in the EHF European League Men
backed in attack by the Mota da Costa brothers, Sporting also had an otherworldly game from goalkeeper André Bergsholm Kristensen, who returned from Norwegian side Drammen in superb form, with a 63.1% saving efficiency after stopping 12 shots in his team’s win, 37:20, over Polish side KGHM Chrobry Glogow, their largest in the second-tier European competition
in their return to the group phase of the EHF European League Men, IK Sävehof clinched a crucial win in Spain, 30:22, over REBI Balonmano Cuenca, whose 46% attacking efficiency was their undoing
Vojvodina secured their first win in the group matches of the second-tier European competition since the 2014/15 season, 31:26, against Alkaloid, as Kiril Lazarov lost his first European match as a coach for the Macedonian side
- see all results from round 1 of the group matches here and read the day review from the early matches here
We dominated today's match. We were very good defensively and our goalkeepers as well. When that happens, it is easier. We were fast, with good ideas, good shots.
main photo (c) José Lorvão / Sporting CP