Frisch Auf Göppingen book ticket to Nantes
SC Magdeburg fought hard and tried everything, but finally the 2002 Men’s EHF Champions League winners again missed qualifying for the EHF Cup Finals weekend.
Like three years ago, against Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Magdeburg won the first leg, at home, but the burden from the away defeat was too huge to overcome.
Men’s EHF Cup Quarter-Final Second Leg
SC Magdeburg (GER) vs. Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) 29:27 (17:13)
Göppingen win 58:54 on aggregate
Four days after losing at Frisch Auf Göppingen 31:25, a 29:27 (17:13) win on home soil was not enough to make it to the EHF Cup Finals for SC Magdeburg.
For Göppingen it will be their second participation at the finals weekend in Nantes after making the final stage in 2013 when the French club were hosts for the first time.
Set for Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May, the Men’s EHF Cup Finals at the new La Trocardière arena on the Loire River in western France is set to be a tough test for the four teams who make it and following the draw on Tuesday (3 May), Göppingen will know their semi-final and hope to improve on their fourth-placed finish three years ago.
Even though their coach Magnus Andersson will be disappointed to go to Nantes with a loss, he would have been impressed that his side showed strength and resilience as Austrian international Robert Weber with 10 strikes and 13 saves from Danish goalkeeper Jannick Green Krejberg were not enough for Magdeburg to cast off his team in the crucial stages of the match.
After an equal start, the hosts finally took the lead, frenetically supported by 4,765 fans in the GETEC-Arena – Bördelandhalle, just under 150km south-west of Berlin. At the break they had the momentum in their hands as they had already reduced the overall gap from six goals to just two, leading by 17:13 on the night (44:42 on aggregate).
Straight after the break the home fans went even crazier when Magdeburg forged ahead to make it 20:14 (45:45 overall) and then they had virtually made it to Nantes for the first time, up 25:18 with just 14 minutes to go, to make it 50:49 overall in their favour.
But Göppingen – led by their top scorer Marcel Schiller (six goals) – struck back with a fighting spirit and passion that they will need in France should they want to battle for glory. When Schiller netted to make it just three goals difference on the night, and overall, at 28:25 to the home side, Magdeburg’s resistance was broken and the final score of 29:27 fell four goals short of glory.
The final title hope of the hosts now rests on the German Cup final tournament next weekend.
“The hurdle of those six goals from the first leg was too high for us,” said Magdeburg coach Bennet Wiegert after the game. “Göppingen deserved to clinch their berth for the EHF Cup Finals - we had our fate in our hands when we were ahead by seven, but we gave it away. This is sport.”
Göppingen’s coach Magnus Andersson was more than satisfied despite the loss. “I’m happy despite the defeat,” he said. “We were down on the floor after a huge numbers of mistakes at the beginning of the second half.
“But when our goalkeeper Primoz Prost improved he gave us with confidence. I have to give a big praise for all of my team.”
Photo: Frisch Auf Göppingen/Facebook
TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc