MATCH REVIEW: One-legged Challenge Cup Final goes the way of the host side, rounding off a perfect weekend for the Swedish club
Sävehof take first European title
It turned into a fantastic weekend for IK Sävehof. On Saturday the women of the Swedish club won their sixth Swedish championship in succession and qualified for the Women’s EHF Champions League group phase through a 38:20 win against Skuru IK in the final.
The men´s team followed with more success on Sunday, as they took their first European title by winning the one-legged Challenge Cup final against RK Metaloplastika by 11 goals.
Men’s Challenge Cup Final
While RK Metaloplastika had won the European Champions Cup in 1985 and 1986, IK Sävehof had not won a European title in the history of the club before the final.
Through a comprehensive 37:26 win in the Challenge Cup final, Sävehof celebrated their first European triumph.
Due to the flooding in Serbia and other parts of the Balkans, the final was played as only one match, which took place in Partillebohallen in Sweden.
Metaloplastika had made it to the final due to their strength on home court, as they Serbian team had not been able to win a single away match in the tournament, a pattern which did not change in the final.
Although Metaloplastika had the better start, going 4:2 ahead after five minutes, but no less than nine unanswered goals from Sävehof changed to score to 11:4 in favour of the home team in a period where Sävehof goalkeeper Peter Johannesson was virtually impossible to score against.
Sävehof maintained their seven goal lead until 17:10, but towards the end of the high-scoring first half, Metaloplastika got back into the game somewhat, by reducing the lead to 18:14 by half-time.
The hosts began to extend their lead again early in the second half, which turned out to be almost as rich on goals as the first 30 minutes had been.
The advantage was extended to six goals at 26:20 and 27:21 at the middle of the second half, to eight goals at 30:22 with ten minutes left and to 12 at 35:23 with four minutes left on the clock, before the final win read 37:26.
“We probably played one of our best matches this season. We were very well prepared for their style of play. We did extremely well in our defence and we also managed to get some speed in our attacking play,” Sävehof coach Magnus Johansson told eurohandball.com, while his players were celebrating loudly around him.
"Our win was bigger than expected, but we did play really well. It means a lot to our young team to get this triumph, and it is a fantastic way to end the season,” Magnus Johansson added.
Left wing Viktor Ottosson and Victor Fridén on the opposite wing scored eight goals each for Sävehof, while Metaloplastika left back Milos Dragas scored ten times for the Serbian team.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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