Danes win, Danes loseArticle
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Aalborg defeated at Flensburg, while Kolding-København take an easy victory against Porto and Kielce beat Dunkerque.

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Men's News

Danes win, Danes lose

Round 1 of the Group Phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League 2013/14 season was completed on Sunday with matches of each two Danish and Polish sides. The results were equal, each one lost (Płock, Aalborg), each one won (Kielce, KIF).

Flensburg, Kielce and KIF were Sunday’s winners - besides, three times EHF Champions League winner THW Kiel took a highly close 34:33 victory at Polish runners-ups Wisła Płock, secured some seconds before the end by the eighth goal of top scorer Filip Jícha (see Match of the Week review here)

Group B:

KS Vive Targi Kielce (POL) vs. Dunkerque HB Grand Littoral (FRA) 33:23 (15:11)

Manuel Štrlek (nine goals) and Michał Jurecki (7) were the top scorers in the most one-sided Sunday’s duel. Thanks to a clear improvement after the break, Kielce took a double figured win in their opening duel.

With a strong goalkeeper Sławomir Szmal and a strong defence, Kielce dominated already the first half, but were impossible to cast off their opponents, as Dunkerque also stood strong in defence. The 15:11 at the break then was a wake-up call for the hosts: A series of counter-attacks sealed the deal very early, while Kielce took the full upper hand.

Every Dunkerque mistake was punished, and the French runners-up only score 12 times after the break.

KIF Kolding København (DEN) vs. FC Porto Vitalis (POR) 25:20 (15:10)

The debutants from Portugal stood strong against the clearly more experienced Danish side, but in the end Porto were unable to endanger the KIF opening victory at any moment.

The Portuguese champions were on eye level in the first ten minutes only, when the score was 4:4. Then KIF took the match serious and left no trace which team will finish victorious. Thanks to the saves of goalkeeper Kasper Hvidt and the goals of Lukas Karlsson the Danes forged ahead easily – and even could offer Swedish top star Kim Andersson his season debut after a shoulder injury.

Every time Porto came closer, Hvidt shut up his shop – and KIF managed to increase the distance. Newcomer Torsten Laen was satisfied with start in the VELUX EHF Champions League: “We did not underestimate Porto, as we know that all matches in the Champions League are very tough and it was very important for us to get those two points. There were small mistakes, but it was fine enough to win”, the Danish line player said to DR sport.

Best Porto scorer was Thiago Rocha, who netted in five times like Karlsson and KIF newcomer Albert Rocas on the other side.

Group D:

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs. Aalborg Handball (DEN) 31:27 (15:12)

It was a tough piece of work, but finally Flensburg took a well-deserved opening victory against their Danish neighbours.

“In case I have to criticize anything, then it is only the fact that we conceded to many goals,” said Flensburg coach Ljubomir Vranjes, who praised the opponent: “Aalborg played a really good and intelligent handball, if they gain more experience, they could finish among the best five teams in Germans.”

And experience was the key word also for Aalborg coach Nicolaj Jacobsen: “In the crucial stages everybody saw what experience means – and we lacked it in contrast to Flensburg. We tried to reduce the speed, as we knew we cannot catch-up with Flensburg in this department, but it was not possible throughout 60 minutes.”

Flensburg had the better start, were away by 7:3, but the Danes always managed to reduce the gap within only some minutes – a typical rundown for the whole match.

At the break the Germans, who were in lead constantly, were away by three goals, but at 19:18 the advance again had melted. Even as Flensburg again forged ahead to 25:20, nothing was decided, but then it took only three minutes after the 26:24, when the Germans took the decisive lead at 30:25.

Top scorers of the match were Holger Glandorf (Flensburg), scoring eight times, and Mads Mensah Larsen with seven goals for Aalborg. But another Dane was in the focus, but on Flensburg side: Michael Knudsen. Hitting the net for 12:9 in minute 24 was his 1000th goals for SG.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br