Wasps fail to find their sting against effective AalborgArticle
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MATCH REPORT: Round 4 of the VELUX EHF Champions League began with a successful trip to Slovenia for the Danish champions

Wasps fail to find their sting against effective Aalborg

Aalborg Handball will fondly remember their maiden VELUX EHF Champions League match against Gorenje. Their first ever visit to Velenje ended with a convincing win 30:25 win that puts the Danish champions well on the way to the Last 16.  

The “Wasps” from Slovenia started the match without their injured captain Niko Medved and their stings too bland to cause any real damage.

Ole Erevik (eight saves in total) on the other hand had a great start with a couple of great blocks. Despite being designated only attacking duties, Velenje's target man Klemen Cehte (six goals) struggled with his shots and Ivan Vajdl called his first timeout in the 10th minute, at 6:2 to Aalborg. 

A change of defence from a deep-lying 6-0 to a 3-2-1 managed to contain the Danes and Gorenje caught up.

Emir Taletovič (11 saves in total) started amassing saves and almost managed to surprise Erevik with a long range effort from his own 6-meter area. It was 10:10 and 6:6 in saves in the 24th minute.

However, Aalborg continued with great defensive effort and inspired fast break action – Morten Slundt (eight goals total) was particularly lively - to produce a 5:1 run at the end of the half, as the teams went into the dressing rooms at 11:15.

When Aalborg extended the lead to 16:11 right after restart, it was obvious that the hosts would have had to produce some extra special, but as it turned out it was not to be.

The Danish outfit completely shut down Gorenje's wings and effectively punished every mistake the Slovenians made in offence (turnovers were 11:5 in favour of the Danes), fast breaks proving to be the weapon of choice for Aalborg. 

Richard Kappelin (five saves in total) picked up where Erevik had left off and the best Gorenje could muster was a three-goal deficit.

Staš Skube's (eight goals) attacking form was not enough for the hosts, who did manage a run of 4:1 just before the final minutes with a risky pressing in defence, but any hopes of at least a point for the home team were dispersed when Havard Tvedten (seven goals in total) once again lifted the goal margin to five in the 55th minute at 27:22.

From that point on it was smooth sailing for Aalborg. The Slovenian champions are now under added pressure before their trip to Naturhouse La Rioja in November, while Aalborg will want to cement third place in Group D in their next match at home against Drott Halmstad.

TEXT: Grega Sever / cor