Summary: Magdeburg fight for MOTW win; strong away sides highlight round 7
The Machineseeker EHF Champions League 2023/24 returned from its two-week national team break with round 7, which included a thrilling MOTW between Magdeburg and GOG, with the defending title holders taking the points.
It was a tough game in which we made too many mistakes in the first 40 minutes. We got better and better in the second half and were particularly convincing in crunch time. In the end, I'm very proud of my team after all the exertions of the past few days.
The match brought a fair fight, which was extremely difficult for us, as we started nervously and made a lot of mistakes. In the second half, we were able to do what we were prepared for, and this is the reason for our success.
Looking at how good their roster is, we should be happy with this point. Looking at how close we were to securing two, we're obviously disappointed now. We didn't find the right way to deal with their 5-1 defence, but despite everything I feel like we've really given everything we had out there. We've shown everyone that we can play a competitive match against them, and we'll strive for that in Poland as well.
We knew the stakes were high for this match against a rival in a similar position to ours. We were able to impose our rhythm on the match, and it was a team effort, everyone played their part. This reinforces our confidence, but the road is still long to the last 16.
We struggled with Kamil Syprzak in the first half, we did some technical mistakes, but Paris also did some mistakes. We played a great second half, also Torbjørn Bergerud stepped up and did a great job in the second. I think Magnus Abelvik Rød played the best game ever in the Kolstad jersey, and those two together gave us the win.
I'm very satisfied with the result, if you win you can't be unsatisfied. But I already told my players, in some periods of the match we didn't play good on defence. Especially in the first half. We fixed that in the second half and won the match.
Porto are a rival that we need to finish ahead of. These two matches will be very important, both teams are close. They have some good athletes, our matches are often good physical battles. They have just lost to Sporting, they will be motivated. We have warned our players.