Pure drama on final qualification match dayArticle
«Go back

REVIEW: Tuesday night saw the final boarding the the group phase of the EHF European League 2021/22 take place.

» »2021-22 Men's EHF European League

The EHF European League Men returned to the spotlight on Tuesday night as qualification round 2 went down with 12 teams booking their tickets to the group phase.

The teams that made it from qualification round 2 were: 

Fenix Toulouse Handball, GOG, Füchse Berlin, Orlen Wisla Plock, RK Nexe, Sporting CP, PAUC Handball, USAM Nimes Gard, Kadetten Schaffhausen, TBV Lemgo Lippe, SL Benfica, and BM Logroño La Rioja.

Read our bite-sized summary of each tie below. 


HK Malmö vs Fenix Toulouse Handball 25:29 (agg. 59:49 to Toulouse)

  • The 4:1 run by Toulouse in the 7th to the 10th minute proved important with Malmö never closing this gap for the remainder of the half.
  • Awad (2) and Petersson (1) went on a 3:1 run for the hosts at the beginning of the second half (18:15) narrowing the gap and two-minute suspension to in-form Nygren even failed to hamper their progress as the hosts pushed on with Hilding even pulling it level at 19:19.
  • It was from a feast to a famine for the Swedish side with their poor shooting and turnovers handing a 3:0 run to Toulouse late in the second, the mistakes continued and the lead was never given up by the hosts.
  • Top scorers of the night were Hampus Nygren for Malmö with 5/5 and Erik Azcue who was 6/7.
  • Fenix Toulouse Handball make it once again to group phase of the EHF European League Men. The French side will be looking to do one better this season having narrowly missed out on progression out of the group last season.

Mors-Thy Handbold vs GOG 27:27 (agg. 57:51 to GOG)

  • The second leg of this all-Danish derby proved a lot more competitive than the first outing, but GOG advance after the six-goal win in leg one.
  • Jerry Tollbring topped off a bright start for GOG as he netted to bring it to 5:2 after 8 minutes.
  • Erik Thorsteinsen Toft who was in fine form brought it back level with his effort to make it 6:6.
  • When Kasper Kildelund netted at the end of the half for GOG, we saw a two-goal gap for the visitors (16:14)
  • It wasn’t until the 57th minute that Mors-Thy took their second lead of the game (after 2:1).
  • Top scorers were Mors-Thy's Erik Thorsteinsen Toft who netted 10/12 and Lukas Lindhard Jørgensen for GOG with 7/8.
  • GOG will be looking to improve on their quarter-final finish from last season when they lost by two goals to eventual fourth place-finishing Orlen Wisła Płock.

Füchse Berlin vs KS Azoty-Pulawy SA 33:29 (agg. 65:53 to Füchse)

  • Füchse Berlin, last season’s EHF European League Men finalists, made no mistake in booking their ticket to the group phase after two convincing legs against a rugged Polish side.
  • Teams traded blows up until the 20-minute mark when it was close at 12:11 to the hosts. However, the next eight minutes was when the chaos induced with a mix of misses, blocks, steals and overall craziness which resulted in two goals for the visitors in that period. The Polish side finished the half strongly with Akimenko looking really sharp with his five goals.
  • The beginning of the second half started in a similar fashion with the Polish side keeping this lead and extending it to one at 20:16 thanks again to Ukrainian Akimenko.
  • Chrintz, Wiede and Andersson punished poor shooting from the visitors to close the gap and pull level 20:20
  • Wiede was in fire around the 45-minute mark when he netted three in a row. From here on the Foxes found their flow.
  • Top scorers were Füchse’s Lasse Andersson with 8/11 and Lukasz Rogulski with 7/9 for Azoty-Pulawy; Dejan Milosavljev Füchse Berlin’s stalwart goalkeeper had another fine outing stopping 13 (30%) shots.

HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta vs Orlen Wisla Plock 26:20 (agg. 45:40 for Plock)

  • A red card each, seven two-minute suspensions for Plock and four two-minutes for Constanta gives you a feel for the gritty nature of this return leg.
  • It was Constanta who stared best with Strahinja Stankovic netting to give his side a 7: 3 lead after 14 minutes.
  • Martin Vegar for Constanta was appearing for all the wrong reasons after a yellow card in the opening minutes, a two-minute suspension and finally seeing red after only 20 minutes.
  • When Plock’s Abel Guntín, was sent off at the 28-minute mark it was the Polish side’s fourth in the half and was a huge factor in the 14:9 lead for Constanta.
  • Chaos was on full display around the 47-minute mark when two seven-meter shots were missing within a minute for Constanta.
  • The six-goal win wasn’t enough for the Romanian side after their 25:14 loss in the first leg.
  • After their fourth-placed finish last year the Polish outfit and Xavi Sabate will know all what it takes to make it once again the EHF Finals in 2022.

RK Nexe vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg 32:26 (agg. 59:59 for Nexe on more away goals)

  • In one of the biggest sensations of the night RK Nexe book their spot in the group phase after turning around a six-goal deficit from the first leg.
  • Five Saša Barišic Jaman seven-meter throws almost seemed the the epicentre of Nexe’s strong start when after 16 minutes they led 11:7. He was on hand once again from the spot to close the half at 15:11.
  • Further poor defending by the Danish side handed Jaman more chances from the spot making 28:23 & 29:24 around the 53-minute mark.
  • Predrag Vejin stepped up when it mattered and netted two really important goals in the 56th and 58th minutes.
  • Jacob Lassen last attempt for the Danish went astray and with it their hope of the group phase.
  • Two men really found the net for Nexe in Halil Jaganjac 5/9 and Andraz Velkavrh 5/7.


TTH Holstebro vs Sporting CP 28:31 (agg. 62:53 for Sporting)

  • A 4:0 start for Holstebro looking promising as the Danish side’s Magnus Bramming looking good netting two of those four.
  • When Porup netted to make it 8: 3 it was (and would be) the Danish side’s biggest lead of the whole game.
  • An inspired 3:1 run at the end of the half saw Sporting close the gap to just one at 16:15.
  • The run continued in the second half with vet Ruesga and young gun Suárez opening the scoring to give Sporting the lead 17:16.
  • Four missed chances in a row for Holstebro forced a team time out as the scored read 24:19 for the guests.
  • Holstebro did pull it back with in one late in the second half through Jesper Johansen but a TTO and two quick goals from youngster Filipe Garcias sealed the deal.
  • New signing Natán Suárez has the perfect game for Sporting netting all of his chances 5/5.

PAUC Handball vs ØIF Arendal 40:22 (agg. 67:49 for PAUC)

  • Before the tie it was coined “too close to call” but the head-to-head was anything but it in the end.
  • The French side racked up the biggest win of the night with their 18-goal win and they scored more goals than any other team over the two legs with 67.
  • A second half collapse by the Norwegian side saw them score only 9 goals in this period.
  • Top scorers of the night for the French side were the trio of Kristjansson, Brasseleur and Loesch who all netted six goals each.
  • PAUC Handball make it to their first EHF European League group phase.

HC CSKA vs USAM Nimes Gard 29:29 (agg. 65:58 for Nimes)

  • Last season’s Last 16 side, HC CSKA, bow out in qualification after their seven-goal aggregate defeat.
  • The tie was neck-and-neck for the large parts with CSKA only briefly leading by three early in the first half; from there on out it was goal for goal.
  • Nimes despite picking up seven two-minutes suspensions were able to keep it close throughout.
  • Kiselev with 6 goals for CSKA and Mohamed Sanad with 9 goals for Nimes were the sides’ top scorers.
  • Nimes are no strangers to the EHF European League group phase having finished their run last season in the last 16.

Fraikin BM. Granollers vs Kadetten Schaffhausen 27:32 (agg. 68:60 to Kadetten Schaffhausen)

  • The first 15 minutes were in favour of Kadetten as they racked up a 9:5 lead.
  • Tominec brought it to 16:10 for Kadetten with his strike at the 23-minute mark.
  • A Joaquin Salinas Muñoz hatrick helped pull the Spanish side back within three at 16:13 at the buzzer.
  • A 4:1 run around the 46th minute-mark saw things go from bad to worse for the hosts as Matzken netted to make it 27:20
  • The last goal of the game went to Cañellas as he closed the tie and the hopes of his old club on reaching the group phase.
  • Young Swiss international Jonas Schelker was top scorer tonight for the victors with 6 goals from 8 attempts.

TBV Lemgo Lippe vs Valur Iceland 27:21 (agg. 54:47 for Lemgo) 

  • It was a super close to for large parts but the experienced Lemgo side were able to pull away in the latter part of the second half due to nine-minute spell when Valur were unable to hit the net.
  • Lemgo’s Gedeon Guardiola saw red in the second half in the 46th minutes following a double two-minute suspension.
  • A futher bad spell for Valur came right at the end when the missed in total eight shots and picked up a two-minute suspension.
  • Dutch international Bobby Schagen was top scorer for Lemgo with his 6 goals.
  • It is 10 years since we have seen Lemgo partake in a European cup competition and the celebrate now stamping their name on the group phase of the EHF European League 2021/22.

SL Benfica vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen 33:28 (agg. 64:59 for Benfica)

  • In the biggest shock of the evening Rhein-Neckar Löwen, the bronze medalists from last season, are knocked out before the group phase even starts.
  • In a very convincing fashion SL Benfica knock out on the tournament’s favourites in front of a very vocal crowd in Lisbon.
  • Petar Djordjic picked up from where he left of in the first leg netting eight goals from 15 attempts making him top scorer of the night.
  • Some impressive saves by keeper Sergey Hernandez Ferrer had the crowd on their feet, the Spaniard has a total of 15 saves by the final whistle.
  • After last season’s shock exit at this very stage, SL Benfica fans will be delighted see their side grace the group phase finally.

Abanca Ademar Leon vs BM Logroño La Rioja 28:27 (agg. 61:58 to La Rioja)

  • The all-Spanish derby was as predicted a tense and close encounter but it was BM Logroño La Rioja who advanced thanks to their three-goal agg. win.
  • Top scorer of the night was La Rioja's new signing Leonardo Dutra with nine goals, after his 12 goals from leg one.
  • The Brazilian international Dutra has scored more in these two ties than he did in last season's European League when he netted 11 for his old club Plock. 





TEXT: Brian Campion