Minsk back on track, Flensburg with clear winArticle
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Victories for Belarusian and German teams at the start of Round 2 of the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase. Dinamo beat Vardar and Flensburg avoided any surprises at their expense in Halmstad.

Minsk back on track, Flensburg with clear win

Round 2 of the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase started already on Wednesday – and while Dinamo Minsk had to struggle to beat Vardar Skopje, Flensburg had an easy-going evening at Halmstad. The city in southern Sweden hosted the premiere match of the European top flight.

Group C:

Dinamo Minsk (BLR) vs Vardar Skopje (MKD) 26:24 (11:11)

After their brilliant performance against FC Barcelona Vardar Skopje were pulled back to the ground: Dinamo Minsk beat the Macedonian champions in a highly thrilling match and took their first points after the unlucky defeat at PSG Handball last Saturday.

The duel of two Last 16 aspirants was on the edge most of the time, and the match was decided only in the final minute. Minsk had the better start and led 8:4, before Vardar improved and managed to equalise at the break.

But the Belarusian team re-took the lead quite quickly, boosted by six goals of Sergey Shelmenko and they were ahead until the final buzzer, but could not escape their opponents including their top scorers Timur Dibirov (6) and Alex Dujshebaev (5).

At the score of 25:24 for Dinamo, Vardar’s Croat Igor Karačić had the great chance to equalise 50 seconds before the end, but he failed against strong Minsk goalkeeper Dimitrije Pejanović. Slovenian Dean Bombac decided the match by scoring the 26:24.

Group D:

DROTT Halmstad (SWE) – SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) 27:37 (13:19)

Second defeat for the Swedish champions, second victory for the German runners-up: In contrast to their brave first performance at Velenje, Halmstad were completely overrun on the home ground, while Flensburg secured an easy going win, which brings them on the top of Group D.

Thomas Mogensen, Lasse Svan and Jacob Heinl scored six goals each for Flensburg, in which Philip Stenmalm and Magnus Persson scored each five times for Halmstad. The hosts were on eye level only in the first 20 minutes then the more powerful and faster play of Flensburg decided the game very early.

The visitors' defence stood like a wall in the second half, and at 26:16 the difference was double figured for the first time – and remained the same until the end.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br