Benfica overcome early scare to eliminate Velenje

EHF / Tiago Nogueira

SL Benfica are into the fifth European semi-final of the club's history. The Portuguese side drew with RK Gorenje Velenje 27:27 in the second leg of the EHF European League Men quarter-final on Tuesday, more than enough to qualify for the EHF Finals Men 2022 after their seven-goal home win last week.

Benfica faced an early scare with Velenje taking a quick three-goal lead, but the visitors turned the match around and were already four goals up at the break for a decisive 11-goal overall lead.

RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs SL Benfica (POR) 27:27 (11:15) - Benfica win 63:56 on agg.

  • Ibrahim Haseljic and Matic Verdinek each scored twice as Velenje built a promising 8:5 lead in the opening quarter of the match
  • however, Benfica replied with a 7:1 run to turn the tide and get in command of the tie again with a 12:9 lead, which grew to 15:11 at half-time
  • a furious start into the second half helped Velenje draw level again (16:16) but the Slovenian side only went into the lead again with two minutes left (27:26) when the tie had long been decided
  • Matic Verdinec led for the hosts with eight goals; Jonas Källman netted five times for Benfica
  • Benfica earlier reached the semi-finals of the former third-tier Chalenge Cup four times, most recently in 2015/16


Eagles fly to the EHF Finals

Benfica's EHF European League season started in style in September with a win over German powerhouse and last season's EHF Finals hosts Rhein-Neckar Löwen. More than seven months later, Benfica's season is becoming even better.

The Portuguese side are through to the EHF Finals 2022, eliminating Velenje based on a strong home performance in the first leg. Benfica are now eying their third European final – but first title: the team nicknamed 'Eagles' lost both Challenge Cup finals they played, in 2011 and 2016.

20220503 ELM QF VELBEN Quote
We knew it was going to be a tough game today. From playing with Celje I was aware of how difficult it is to play in this arena. We prepared well for this match, we were motivated and eager to qualify for the EHF Finals. We have managed to get what we wanted.
Tadej Kljun
SL Benfica right back

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