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EHF European League

Velenje hold off Nimes pressure to book quarter-finals spot

EHF / Kevin Domas

Winning by seven in the first leg of a European confrontation might not be the ideal position, as one might be torn between the will to keep the advantage and the enthusiasm of still playing regardless of the aggregate score.

Tonight, Velenje had no such problem, as the Slovenian side’s players kept cool heads to only lose by five, meaning they will reach the quarter-finals.

Nîmes didn’t manage to lead by more than six, which means that Velenje were always ahead on aggregate.

LAST 16:
USAM Nîmes Gard (FRA) vs RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) 35:30 (18:15)
RK Gorenje Velenje win 59:57

  • while the hosts were ahead throughout the first half, taking a maximum advantage of four goals, Nîmes were unable to shake off Velenje’s resistance before the break
  • Nîmes pushed in the second half, helped by Mohammad Sanad’s goals, but failed to build the lead of seven that they needed to draw level
  • the Egyptian right-winger finished the match leading scorer, with 12 goals
  • after reaching the European Cup semi-finals last season, Velenje have now qualified for the European League’s quarter-finals
  • Velenje will play Benfica in the next round




Velenje youngsters show they have old heads on young bodies 

Velenje’s roster tonight featured only two players older than 30, but it did not stop the young Slovenian players from playing as though they had been at that level of the competition throughout their careers.

Centreback Domen Tajnik was the brains, while Ibrahim Haseljic’s arm did not shake when it came to scoring important goals. Never did the visitors panic tonight, even when their opponents were pushing. Clearly, some of them are stars in the making.

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