Successful return for Velenje, No-nonsense win for SkjernArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: Skjern Handbold ran riot through Dinamo Bucuresti’s defence, while RK Gorenje Velenje ousted Abanca Ademar Leon in their return to Europe’s top flight competition.

Successful return for Velenje, No-nonsense win for Skjern

In group C on Sunday, Skjern Handbold had a comfortable win at home over Romanian side Dinamo Bucuresti, while RK Gorenje Velenje prevailed against Abanca Ademar Leon, in a match which was both teams’ comeback to the VELUX EHF Champion’s League.

  • Skjern scored 39 goals, the most they have ever scored in a game in the Champions League.
  • Markus Olsson and Bjarte Myrhol were Skjern's top goal scorers, with five goals each.
  • Velenje return to the Champions League after a three-year absence.
  • Goalkeeper Klemin Ferlin secured the win for Velenje with a last-second save.


Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU) 39:28 (19:11)

With two draws and one hard-fought win in their domestic league in the lead up to their opening match in VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase, one would have expected that Skjern would have difficulty firing on all cylinders.

Nevertheless, Skjern did not show any sign of fatigue in the first 10 minutes of the game.

A free-flowing attack, that incorporated both powerful shots from the back line, and intelligent passes to the wings, propelled Skjern to a 11:6 start after 15 minutes.

Dinamo had no answer in defence, and hardly looked like the team that surprised everyone last season with their attack. Therefore, it was no surprise that Skjern were boasting a 19:11 lead at half-time.

Without Sajad Esteki, Dinamo's attack never got going, while Ole Norgaard's side maintained their rhythm to jump to a 29:19 lead, as they managed to rotate their players and stay fresh.

With a final score line of 39:28, Skjern earned their second biggest win ever in the VELUX EHF Champions League, while scoring the most goals they have ever scored in a game in the competition.

RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP) 23:22 (12:10)

RK Gorenje Velenje and Abanca Ademar Leon returned to the Champions League after an absence of three years and four years, respectively.

Tough defence

“I would like to see a focused and disciplined team, with a tough defence.” said Željko Babić before the start of the European campaign for Velenje.

Indeed, the match showed what he meant. For Ademar, it was incredibly hard to break the aggressive and well organised hosts.

Back court efficiency

Gorenje Velenje were on the top of their game throughout the first half. Thanks to an aggressive defence, they got a narrow lead.

Velenje’s goalkeeper Klemin Ferlin had adequate support from the defensive line, and their back court was more effective than their oppositions’.

Zarko Pejovic, Jan Grebenc and Nejc Cehte in the back, along with the long-serving captain Niko Medved were the main firepower for the hosts.

Drama until the end

Rafael Guijosa’s timeout in the 36th minute helped to steady the visitors. Mario Lopez levelled the score in the 47th minute, to set up a dramatic last quarter of an hour.

From then on, it was only a one goal difference which separated the teams.

Medved scored the winning goal with three minutes remaining, and then Ferlin then crucially saved Alejandro Costoya’s attempt in the last second, to secure his team the win.

Niko Medved was thrilled with his teams return to the Champions League:

“I want to congratulate team Abanca Ademar Leon for a good play. We needed this win, that is why we are really happy. VELUX EHF Champions League came back to Velenje after three years, so we are really glad to start season at home, in front of our fans, with a win. Both teams in attack made a lots of mistakes. We put a lot of energy in this game and with save of Klemen Ferlin in last second we got two points.”

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu and Tomas Cuncik/kc