Ristovski and Jallouz help Barcelona defeat Flensburg
A brilliant goalkeeping performance from Borko Ristovski, eight goals by Wael Jallouz and a Flensburg side too nervous in crucial moments were the reasons for Barcelona’s third win in their group A match of the VELUX EHF Champions League season, winning 28:27 in the Flens Arena.
After the 24:24 draw against Veszprem in their opener, Flensburg again missed the chance of claiming their 100th home win in international matches
Since 2007, Flensburg have not won any home match against Barcelona
16 saves by Macedonian goalkeeper Borko Ristovski for Barcelona and 15 saves from his counterpart Mattias Andersson
Barcelona top group with optimum of six points after three matches, while SG remain on three points.
Top scorers were Wael Jallouz (eight goals for the victors) and Holger Glandorf (6 for Flensburg).
SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs FC Barcelona Lassa (ESP) 27:28 (11:13)
The side from Spain successfully accomplished two wins out of two in their ‘German week’ after beating SG Flensburg-Handewitt 28:27 tonight (Wednesday 5 October), a victory which followed in the footsteps of their 26:25 victory over THW Kiel on the previous Sunday.
The two narrow wins mean FC Barcelona Lassa are the only team in VELUX EHF Champions League Group A with six points from six and remain unbeaten.
“It is always something special for me to play at Flensburg as a former Kiel player, and it is even more special to win here, as I did not have those emotions in the previous years,” said Barcelona’s left back Filip Jicha after the close win for his side thanks to their new arrival in goal, Borko Ristovski, saving nearly half of all Flensburg shots in the first half and 43% in total, getting the better of SG goalkeeper Mattias Andersson had an overall percentage of 41.
Big praise for Ristovski
“Ristovski had one of those days when he saved nearly everything,” said Flensburg’s right wing Lasse Svan.
“In general we gave the match away from our hands as we made much too many mistakes in crucial periods.”
The big Macedonian Ristovski meanwhile was quick to praise his team-mates. “In a match of two strong defensive sides we were the lucky ones today,” he said. “I am satisfied with my performance; sometimes you have a great day, sometimes you have a black day, today I had a good day.”
Flensburg only led once in the match
Record EHF Men’s Champions League winners Barcelona started with an unusual line-up, but had the better start as Flensburg were ahead just once following a penalty goal from Anders Eggert to make it 7:6.
Both sides were on a nearly equal level throughout the opening period, but the hosts missed too many chances and made too many easy mistakes to take the lead again, as the 13:11 half-time lead for Barcelona was well-deserved.
“The level of this match was like one at the FINAL4,” said FC Barcelona Lassa Sports Director and six-time EHF Men’s Champions league winner David Barufet at the break to host broadcaster Sky Germany.
Wael Jallouz on fire, Flensburg fight back
Despite their best efforts and a noisy and support home crowd, nothing changed after the break for the Germans. When new Barcelona arrival, the Dane Lasse Andersson - who had missed six chances in the first half - netted to make it 20:16, the Catalan side were ahead by four goals for the first time as Flensburg could not stop Tunisian Wael Jallouz who found the gaps to score, ending with an impressive eight goals from 13 attempts.
In his timeout with the score of 21:17 to the visitors, Flensburg coach Ljubomir Vranjes was angry with his team with the microphones picking up his shouted command “you have to be more aggressive in defence.”
And they understood, scoring a 3:0 series during a one-man-advantage and, backed by five goals from Holger Glandorf in that period, Flensburg levelled it up at 23:23 and only Ristovski stopped them taking the lead and turning around the match completely.
Mogensen misses last chance
But Barcelona again went ahead by three goals, although nothing was decided as Andersson shut up his shop and with 75 seconds before the end the Swedish goalkeeper saved a shot from Kiril Lazarov.
The ball turned over but the Germans misplaced their pass and Barcelona were in attack. However, Lazarov failed again against Andersson and with yet another chance to come back, Thomas Mogensen misplaced another pass as Flensburg were left wondering what could have been.
Will Glandorf join Barcelona?
The news of the night was not only limited to the match as Glandorf responded to reports that he will join the evenings’ opponents next season.
“My first option is Flensburg, I cannot say more,” he said. “But in due time, I will announce my decision,” as he coach Vranjes told Sky that “we will do everything to keep him here.”
Svan extends his contract until 2020, Eggert moving on
Right before throw-off, Flensburg announced the extension of the contract of Danish Rio 2016 Olympic Games gold medallist and All Star Player Lasse Svan until 2020. Svan arrived in 2008 at Flensburg and has been a crucial part of all their success since, including the VELUX EHF Champions League in 2014 and the 2012 Men’s EHF Cup.
“My family and I really like it in Flensburg so I am proud to extend my contract to extend for three more years,” he said. “Lasse is one of best right wings in the world, so it is great to have him in our club for more years,” said Flensburg Manager Dierk Schmäschke. “Lasse has been at a brilliant level from many years,” said his coach Vranjes. “I am sure he can keep this level for a long time.”
In contrast to Svan, it was also revealed that Danish left wing Anders Eggert will leave Flensburg after this season following his signing for Skjern.
Photos: FC Barcelona Lassa/Twitter