Flensburg lose first game in Gottfridsson’s homecoming
Jim Gottfridsson, the MVP of the EHF EURO 2022, returned to European competition after an injury. However, he failed to make an impact against his former side, Ystads IF HF, as SG Flensburg-Handewitt lost their first game of the season to the Swedish side 26:30.
Elsewhere in the group, TM Benidorm secured their first-ever win in the group phase of an European competition, with a 33:32 nail-biter against FTC.
It required an outstanding comeback and a 50 per cent saving efficiency from goalkeeper Samuel Ibañez Juan, but TM Benidorm picked up their first-ever win in the group phase of an European competition, in a nip-and-tuck match against FTC. The Spanish side were down 16:14 at the break, but their most experienced player, 41-year-old left wing Ivan Nikcevic, scored nine goals to lead a huge comeback to break a three-game losing run in group phase matches for Benidorm. FTC conceded their third loss, with their defence once again allowing over 30 goals, in what proves to be their undoing in the competition.
I felt that we were not convincing enough today, that is why they could come back and win the game. It is very difficult to stay focused against a team with such an unusual style.
Jim Gottfridsson's comeback to Ystads, the team he played for from 2011-12, was spoiled, as SG Flensburg-Handewitt conceded their first loss in the group. It was a big surprise, as the German powerhouse had swept their opponents until this point, but they fell behind early and could never mount a comeback in the second half. Ystads won their first game against a German side in what is one of their most prestigious results in club history. Back after an injury, Gottfridsson scored four times, but was eclipsed by Ystads' top scorer, left back Jonathan Svensson, who scored nine times, and veteran Kim Andersson, who had six goals, aging fine as wine at 40 years old.
A strong finish saw PAUC Handball secure their third win in four matches, as the French side duly delivered an excellent last 10-minute stint to give their fans something to cheer about. Down one goal, PAUC ended the match on a 6:2 run, with four goals from right wing Gabriel Loesch that left Valur fuming. Loesch was the top scorer of the match, with 10 goals, and PAUC has already tripled their number of wins from last season, when they only won a single game. On the other side, Valur’s magic seems to have gone, as they conceded their second loss in a row.