GOG’s historic victoryArticle
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The Danish fans witnessed the greates surprise of the round as GOG have beaten Barcelona.

GOG’s historic victory

It is probably no exaggeration to say that the greatest surprise of the round happened in Group 4 where Danish GOG Svendborg TGI managed to defeat FC Barcelona by 35-33. The game was followed by 2,150 fans in Odense Idrætshal.

GOG celebrate a surprise victoryThe result was even more astonishing as Barcelona were still leading by 7 goals just 20 minutes before the end and seemed to be heading for an easy win. Things have changed a lot by the end, though…

Barcelona in control for 20 minutes

Prior to the Barcelona game, GOG lost their two latest matches in the Danish league. Still, the home team started with optimism and took a 2-0 and 7-5 lead. From the middle of the first half, however, Barcelona were in control. The visitors got ahead 13-10 and 17-12 and finally won the first half by 19-14.

The first 10 minutes of the second half resembled the last quarter of an hour before the break. Barcelona seemed to be in full control and the 5-goal lead from the break was increased to 6 goals at 20-14 and to 7 goals at 24-17 with 20 minutes to go. In this phase of the match, the Icelandic playmaker Snurri Gudjonsson was actually the only GOG player who was able to threaten the strong Spanish defence. He scored a series of elegant goals in that period.

The Danes refused to give up, though. They continued to play extremely fast in the attack and they began to start attacks after each Barcelona goal extremely fast. This seemed to confuse the Barcelona players and also to make them tired.

This fast GOG wingers enjoyed this period – right winger Lasse Svan Hansen in particular, but also Swedish left winger, Fredrik Petersen, who has surprisingly recovered from the ankle injury that Eurohandball.com reported last week.

The wingers ran over the Barcelona defence and the young Mikkel Hansen was also successful with his long shots. As a result, GOG slowly but steadily began to minimise the Spanish lead. The spectators, who were silenced earlier by Barcelona, woke up at once. Via 19-24 and 27-29, GOG worked themselves closer and closer to the Spanish favourites. The roar from the home crowd was fantastic and the hosts equalised to 31-31 with leas than 5 minutes left. GOG got back into the lead 32-31 less than a minute later. At this point you were afraid to go deaf as GOG got two goals and finally won 35-33.

Hvidt disappointed but realistic

Hvidt's face is expressive“In the first 45 minutes I think we played close to our best knowledge. However, what we did in the last quarter of an hour was far from being satisfactory. Now we have to win the rest of our matches in the group to make sure to progress to the semi-finals. An away match against Celje will be probably not easier than this one against GOG, and the Hungarian team (Pick Szeged, ed.) are also very good,” said FC Barcelona’s Danish national team player Kasper Hvidt. The goalkeeper was back in Denmark for the first time after celebrating the European championship title together with his national team mates a fortnight ago.

Hvidt´s colleague in the Danish national team, Peter Henriksen, who safeguarded the GOG goal making some vital saves towards the end, also commented:

“We rose as a team with great support from the crowd. I don’t think that any Danish team has ever defeated Barcelona before so now we really have a story to tell,” Henriksen said.

And Henriksen was right, GOG clinched a historic victory with the 7 goals of the Icelandic international, Snurri Gudjonsson. Iker Romero was the most prolific on the Barcelona side with 8 goals before leaving the hall in such a hurry that he forgot to take his handball shoes with him…

TEXT: Peter Bruun