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28.03.2018, 21:46
Flensburg easily cruise through to the quarter-finals
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LAST 16 REVIEW: After German side SG Flensburg-Handewitt won the first leg in Kristianstad, they left no doubt on home ground against the Swedish champions
 

Flensburg easily cruise through to the quarter-finals

SG Flensburg-Handewitt are the third team to clinch its berth for the 2017/18 quarter-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League – after defending champions HC Vardar and 2017 finalists Paris Saint-Germain, who had already directly booked their tickets as group winners.

Only four days after their 26:22 away win in the first leg at the Last 16 debutants IFK Kristianstad in Sweden, the German side sealed the deal on home ground with a 27:24 victory on Wednesday (28 March) night.

  • Seventh quarter-final participation in Flensburg's club history, sixth since introduction of VELUX EHF FINAL4 in the 2009/10 season
  • Flensburg will face the aggregate winner of the Last 16 Barcelona vs Montpellier in the quarter-finals
  • Top-scorers were Mario Lipocac (7 for Kristianstad) and Lasse Svan (5 for Flensburg)

LAST 16, SECOND LEG
SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs IFK Kristianstad (SWE) 27:24 (13:9)

By the time SG Flensburg-Handewitt were ahead 8:3 in the 17th minute – which meant an aggregate lead of eight goals, after the German side won the first leg 26:22 – the deal was sealed.

From that moment on the 2014 VELUX EHF Champions League winners started to rotate their players, but it was not without hope for the approximately 300 Swedish fans who had travelled to the FLENS-Arena in northern Germany, as they saw their team fighting well and right until the end, like in the first leg, but thanks mainly to Flensburg’s defence and Swedish goalkeeper Mattias Andersson the German team were stronger.

“I do not think that we will miss the quarter-finals anymore,” said line player Henrik Toft Hansen at half-time to the Sky Sport TV cameras with the score 13:9 in his Flensburg teams’ favour. At that time, Andersson – who will end his glittering career after this season – had already eight saves on his tally. “Mattias Andersson again is extraordinary,” SG Manager Dierk Schmäschke added.

Andersson’s country-fellows had the better start in their first-ever knock-out stage away match in the VELUX EHF Champions League, backed by their goalkeeper Richard Kappelin, but when Flensburg got back on track at 17:12, all was said and done, even though the visitors were close again, within two, at 21:19. But, in truth, Flensburg were never endangered.

“No matter if we face Barcelona or Montpellier, the fans will see great matches and we will duel with a tough opponent in the quarter-finals,” said Schmäschke after the match as he looked forward to the second leg on Saturday between their next opponents after Montpellier had won the first leg on home ground 28:25.

Kristianstad’s coach Ola Lindgren had mixed emotions. “On one hand, we were strong and never gave up, but then we missed too many chances, when were close. In some moments we were not decisive enough.”

“Our intermediate goal in the Champions League was the quarter-finals and now we’ve made it,” said Flensburg’s team captain, and another Swede, Tobias Karlsson. “Now, definitely, we will travel to a nice and interesting town in the next stage.”

 


TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc
 
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