EHF EURO winners power Aalborg to victory
Despite impressive performances from Stas Skube and Mikita Vailupau, who combined for 15 of HC Meshkov Brest’s 30 goals, the Belarusian side started the new EHF Champions League year with a defeat to Aalborg, 30:33.
The 2021 finalists were too strong, mainly in terms of speed and firepower, and took a deserved but hard-earned 33:30 victory. The win clearly increased Aalborg’s hopes of skipping the play-offs and booking a direct quarter-final ticket.
- thanks to the crucial away win and the overall eighth victory in 11 matches, Aalborg are equal on top of the group with Montpellier now. Brest remain on the bottom, three points below sixth-ranked side Vardar
- after an equal first 15 minutes, Aalborg strengthened their defence and profited from counter attacks to pull ahead from 8:8 to 14:9 within only five minutes
- Meshkov struck back thanks to the goals of Stas Skube and Mikita Vailupau and even levelled the result at 17:17
- the match was fully equal until the score of 23:25, then Aalborg took full control with a 5:0 run, with five different scorers ending all Meshkov hopes
- the goalkeepers — Ivan Matskevich (Brest) and Mikael Aggefors (Aalborg) — saved 10 shots, but both sides had the focus on attack rather than on defence
Swedish firepower from EHF EURO heroes
Felix Claar and Lukas Sandell had a huge impact on Sweden’s first EHF EURO trophy in 20 years, when they beat defending champions Spain in the final at Budapest on 30 January.
Now, on the club level, the back court stars continued the form that made them European champions. At Brest, Claar was Aalborg’s top scorer, with seven goals from nine attempts, ahead of Sandell, who netted six times from nine attempts. In total, Claar is on 59 Champions League goals this season and Sandell on 52.
We played a very good first half. We had a good start. Then we had some problems with rotation and we didn’t have enough energy. We will take this experience like a team and I hope we will finally get two points at the next home match against Vardar.