Nærbø need strong comeback to defend European Cup title
In the first-leg match of the EHF European Cup Men final, it was Vojvodina who were dominant at home against Nærbø IL to win by seven goals, 30:23.
The second leg will be held on Saturday in Norway, and Nærbø need a strong comeback if they want to claim the title for the second consecutive year.
FINAL, SECOND LEG
- Vojvodina's lead reached nine goals in the second half of the match in Serbia, but Nærbø slightly reduced the deficit in the closing minutes
- Nærbø won three of their five home games in the current competition, including two by more than seven goals: 35:27 against BK-46 in round 2, and 35:24 against MSK Povazska Bistrica in the Last 16
- in the quarter-final, Vojvodina faced another Norwegian side, ØIF Arendal, and lost the second leg away from home 33:37. However, they progressed thanks to a 42:29 home win
- the Serbian team won nine of their 11 matches in the current European Cup season, but both of their defeats took place in Scandinavia. After eliminating Arendal, they lost the first leg of the semi-final at Alingsås HK in Sweden, 24:25 before hitting back at home, 32:24
- after scoring three goals last Sunday, including two in the last three minutes, centre back Barys Pukhouski is still Vojvodina's top scorer in the competition with 57 goals
- right wing Theodor Svensgård, who netted six times in Novi-Sad, is Nærbø's best scorer in the European season with 60 goals
Looking for the right balance
The Norwegian team have heavily relied on their wing players throughout the season. While Theodor Svensgård scored 60 goals, left wing John Thue is Nærbø's second-best scorer with a tally of 53 goals.
Last Sunday in Serbia, this duo combined for 14 of their team's 23 goals, while the back court players were much less prolific. Even Tord Haugseng, who is the third-best scorer of the team with 50 goals, missed all his three attempts.
So if Nærbø want to mount a strong comeback, they have to find the right balance in the team. Otherwise, it will be next to impossible to overcome a big deficit.