Thrilling game of ups and downs ends with honours evenArticle
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GROUP D MATCH REVIEW: Aalborg rescue a point in Switzerland behind a late rally as both teams remain in the hunt for a place in the Last 16.

Thrilling game of ups and downs ends with honours even

Aalborg Handball rescued an important VELUX EHF Champions League Group D point at Kadetten Schaffhausen on Thursday, despite trailing for much of the match.

Kadetten led by five goals at half-time, but failed to wrap up maximum points as they squandered opportunities in the crucial moments.

VELUX EHF Champions League Group D

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs Aalborg Handball (DEN) 25:25 (14:9)

Aalborg were once again without star shooter Emil Berggren, but forged ahead 3:2 by the seventh minute.

That was to be their only lead of the match, however, as Kadetten soon began to build momentum, pouring in the easy goals while Nikola Portner was excellent in goal at the other end.

Portner ended the first half with an impressive 50% save ratio, going on to tally 16 saves in total.

Such was Portner's form that the Danish side scored only twice in a 10-minute first-half stretch to find themselves 11:6 behind at the 23-minute mark.

Aalborg did their best to eat into the deficit early in the second half but Portner remained on song.

But as the visitors' defence improved, Kadetten's scoring slowed and the gap began to close, to a point where a 5:1 sequence from Aalborg tied things up at 18 with 13 minutes to play.

Kadetten's response was swift and strong, as they scored four unanswered goals, two of those goals coming with them two men down, and another two while they were at a single man disadvantage.

The hosts still held a 25:21 edge with five minutes remaining and there appeared to be no way back for Aalborg.

That is until a Kadetten missed a penalty and the previously in-form Manuel Liniger wasted a fantastic chance from the line with 2:30 to play.

This swung the momentum the way of the visitors.

Martin Larsen's fifth goal of the night for Aalborg meant they trailed by just one before Buster Engelbrecht pounced on a Kadetten error to tie the game entering the final minute.

Poor attacks on both ends followed but Morten Slundt was still required to prevent Markus Richwien snatching all the points for the hosts at the buzzer.

The result leaves Aalborg with six points and Kadetten have four, as both remain in control of their own destiny.

TEXT: Grega Sever / jh