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01.11.2017, 22:33
Flensburg overcome Celje in tough fight
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GROUP B REVIEW: SG Flensburg-Handewitt win the opener of Round 6, despite Celje’s Branko Vujovic scoring an impressive nine goals.
 

Flensburg overcome Celje in tough fight

In their seventh ever EHF Champions League home match against RK Celje, SG Flensburg-Handewitt remained unbeaten, and they took their sixth win.

Tthe 33:28 (16:15) victory on Wednesday night was much harder to earn than expected.

Thanks to this third straight home win, Flensburg are now in joint second position of Group B, beside Paris Saint-Germain Handball.

  • Celje’s Matic Suholeznik received a red card early on.
  • Branko Vujovic and Gal Marguc scored 17 of Celje’s 28 goals.
  • Lasse Svan was Flensburg’s top scorer with seven goals

GROUP B

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs RK Pivovarna Lasko Celje (SLO) 33:28 (16:15)

Celje were hit hard by injuries at Flensburg: they had to replace their top scorer Zika Mlakar.

To make matters worse, they also had to change their defensive tactics after Matic Suholeznik received a red card after only ten minutes.

But the Slovenian side played well in what was a rematch of the 2004 Champions League finals.

They were boosted by an incredible performance from back court shooter Branko Vujovic (19 years old). After 16 minutes, Vujovic had already found the net five times.

However, when Flensburg’s playmaker Kentin Mahe found gaps, using shots or passes, the hosts forged ahead from 6:8 to 15:12.

Celje's Perserverance

But Celje did not give up, reducing the gap to only one goal. Their goalkeeper Urban Lesjak was playing particularly well, and he steered his side to a 23:22 lead in the 45th minute.

 

Things changed, however, when Flensburg's goalkeeper Mattias Andersson’s performance improved after a weak start. His saves paved the way for four straight counter attack goals by the host, who from that moment on (26:23) had the upper hand.

Finally, the deal was sealed, when Henrik Toft Hansen netted in to make it 28:24.

With eight points accumulated in the group standings, Flensburg are now five points ahead of their visitors.

“Celje had nothing to lose and we knew before that they would be a tough nut to crack,” said Flensburg coach Maik Machulla, adding: “We could not stop Vujovic in the beginning, as our defence was too weak. It only became easier for us after the 45th minute. But we all have to realize that there are no easy matches in this competition.”

“Flensburg took the points as they have a wider squad with more alternatives. We lacked those options in the end,” said Celje line player Igor Anic.


TEXT: Björn Pazen/kc
 
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