Veszprém book their fifth ticket to CologneArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG REVIEW: After a shaky start, the Hungarian side easily took their second victory against Flensburg, becoming the first confirmed team for the VELUX EHF FINAL4
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Veszprém book their fifth ticket to Cologne

Telekom Veszprém HC easily secured their fifth VELUX EHF FINAL4 appearance in the past six seasons to become the first confirmed team for the 10th anniversary edition of the pinnacle event of men’s club handball.

For the fourth consecutive VELUX EHF Champions League season, SG Flensburg-Handewitt crashed out at the quarter-final stage, and for the third time in a row, no German team will be part of the showpiece event in Cologne.

  • Veszprém’s 10th-straight victory this current VELUX EHF Champions League season and fourth in the knock-out stage
  • Since 2014, Veszprém have not lost any of their VELUX EHF Champions League quarter-final matches
  • Hampus Wanne (seven goals for Flensburg) and Dragan Gajic (six for Veszprém) were the top-scorers of the match
  • Laszlo Nagy’s strike for Veszprém to make it 20:17 was his 900th goal for the club


Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) 29:25 (17:13)
Telekom Veszprém HC win 57:47 on aggregate

After their appearances in Cologne back in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Veszprém are again part of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 after defeating German side SG Flensburg-Handewitt by 10 goals in total over their two quarter-final legs.

A 28:22 first leg win away at Flensburg one week ago saw Veszprém go into the match as favourites with a six-goal lead, but it took the German champions just six minutes to almost draw equal as the visitors shocked the hosts, advancing 5:0 and were close to fully equalising the result from the first leg.

However, boosted by their fans in a sold-out Veszprém Arena, the hosts found their rhythm, levelled the result for the first time at 9:9 in the 20th minute, and then finally had turned the match around to go 13:12 up, their first lead.

With a 17:13 lead at the break, meaning a 10-goal aggregate lead already, Veszprém had already sealed the deal, though Flensburg never gave up in the last international match of team captain Tobias Karlsson.

The biggest advance was six goals at 26:20, in the final stages, but even though Flensburg managed to reduce the gap in this match, they were not able to endanger the Hungarian side in the clash today, or the tie itself.

“It is a great day for the club, the city and for me also,” said Veszprém coach David Davis after the match. “I want to say thanks to my wife and my family, for supporting me in the changes we have went through and thanks to the club, which has been behind me from the first day.

“To the supporters too, who are always with us and behind us, and thanks to our Managing Director who made this crazy decision to sign me. I feel important to say this because I know that it is impossible to achieve big things alone - with the help of everyone, you can do big things. We wanted to win, and we did it - it was complicated, but we are going to Cologne.”

His counterpart, Maik Machulla, reflected on yet another exit in the last eight. “We came with little hope to change the result as we knew it would be a tough game again, but to win here with seven goals is much more difficult,” said the SG Flensburg-Handewitt coach.

“We started good but let Veszprém come back too easily, making mistakes and bad decisions. We got knocked out again in the quarter-final, and the team that knocked us out in the last four years won the Champions League. Good luck to them (Veszprém) to keep this streak going.”

TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc