Defending champions Magdeburg return to final
SC Magdeburg are back in the final of the EHF European League Men. The defending champions defeated RK Nexe 34:29 in the first semi-final at the EHF Finals Men 2022 in Lisbon on Saturday.
For 15 minutes right after the break, Magdeburg had a quite tough nut to crack after a dominant first half, but finally made it to the final again. Their opponents, Nexe, stood strong at their premiere at an EHF final tournament, but came up short in the end as Magdeburg extended their unbeaten run in EHF European League matches to 27 matches.
On Sunday, Magdeburg will play either Orlen Wisla Plock or SL Benfica in their third final of the 2021/22 season – after the IHF Super Globe and the German cup.
SC Magdeburg (GER) vs RK Nexe (CRO) 34:29 (18:13)
- two Danes stood out in the first half: Magdeburg’s goalkeeper Mike Jensen saved seven shots and left back Michael Damgaard scored seven times
- Nexe top scorer Halill Jaganjac only played the first seven minutes of the first half and scored twice, but returned after the break to score six more goals, including his 100th since the start of the group phase, making him the current top scorer of the competition
- with Jaganjac back on track and a clearly improved defence, Nexe started their comeback and reduced the gap to only two goals for the first time at 19:21 – and their fans got much louder than before
- in this crucial period, Magdeburg’s German internationals Matthias Musche (top scorer by eight goals) and Philipp Weber kept their team in the lead; at 31:26 in minute 50, the German fans started singing “Finale, Finale”
- Magdeburg’s final opponent will be decided in the second semi-final between hosts Benfica SL and Orlen Wisla Plock at 18:30 CEST.
Magdeburg play their seventh EC final
Beating RK Nexe in the first semi-final in Lisbon, SC Magdeburg extended an impressive series of German success in the second-tier EHF men’s competition: Since the 2003/04 season, at least one German team has been part of the finals – with one exception, when Pick Szeged beat Montpellier in the EHF Cup final in 2014 in Berlin.
Magdeburg have their seventh final in an EHF club competition ahead, and they won five of the previous six: the EHF Champions League in 2002; the EHF Cup in 1999, 2001 and 2007; and the EHF European League in 2021. Their only defeat came in the EHF Cup 2004/05, losing to German rivals Tusem Essen.
We are really happy to be in the final again, this is not anything normal for us, but still something special. I am very proud of my team after a tough match, which was not easy to win. Nexe fought until the end. Maybe the bigger number of options to rotate and save energy were the keys for the victory.