FEATURE: After the stunning Round 12 win in Kiel, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg have new hope for reaching the Last 16, but neither coach Bredsdorff-Larsen nor miracle goalkeeper Rasmussen want to talk about the knock-out phase.
No talk of the knock-out stage in Silkeborg – yet
Shock waves were not only felt in Sparkassen Arena, Kiel when Bjerringbro-Silkeborg defeated local heroes THW 24:21 on Saturday evening – the sensational win for the Danish champions did not bring joy to Plock either.
After their 28:25 victory at home against BSV in the previous round, Orlen Wisla Plock seemed virtually in the Last 16.
But the race for the final ticket to the Last 16 from Group A was turned upside down by the stunning Danish performance in Kiel.
Now, being only two points ahead of BSV, Plock are under pressure to win some points in their last two group matches to make sure they reach the next round.
Considering that those two matches are against the two top teams in the group: Paris Saint-Germain Handball at home and FC Barcelona away, this may be very difficult for the Polish side.
In comparison, BSV are playing away against SG Flensburg-Handewitt on Saturday before hosting Kadetten Schaffhausen, who are last in the group, in the final round of the phase.
If Plock do not win any more points, a home victory against Schaffhausen will send BSV to the Last 16.
Do not write off Plock
“You are not going to make me say that we have a match point now. Plock have made some fine results on home ground in this group phase, and I would definitely not put it past them to take a point at home against Paris. That will mean that we will need at least a point in Flensburg,” BSV head coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen tells ehfCL.com.
However, he is obviously pleased with his team’s astonishing performance, which was so much more impressive considering the fact that right wing Johan Hansen tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Wisla Plock and is out for the rest of 2017.
“I actually think we were on our way to a win in Plock, when Johan Hansen was injured. The fact that we were missing him in Kiel just makes our performance so much more impressive.
“To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time in this millennium that Kiel scored as few as 21 goals on home ground,” says Bredsdorff-Larsen.
“One among many fine performances”
BSV’s veteran goalkeeper Sören Rasmussen can take a major part of the credit for Kiel’s unusually low score. With a save percentage of 55 in the second half and an astonishing double save in the last minute, the 40-year-old goalkeeper was a decisive factor in the Danish win.
“My performance was one among many fine performances in our team on Saturday evening.”
“I had good help from my defence, who performed extremely well throughout the match, and in general, we were really good at sticking to our agreements and staying focused. It was a great team performance,” says Rasmussen.
“We knew in advance that we would be under heavy pressure in Sparkassen Arena, but I think we resisted that very well.
“Even though we were trailing at the beginning, we did not panic but stayed cool and stuck to what we had agreed on.
“Of course, it is fantastic that we are now back in the race for the Last 16 after everyone had deemed us out. However, we should not forget that we are still two points behind Plock, so we still have a big job to do, and we are definitely not there yet.
“It is hard for me to imagine Plock getting any points against Paris or Barcelona, but you cannot rule it out. Our win in Kiel is the best proof that surprises can happen,” says the former Danish international.
A reunion in Flensburg
On Saturday afternoon, Rasmussen and his teammates have the opportunity to pull another sensation when they travel to northern Germany once again – this time to face SG Flensburg-Handewitt.
For Rasmussen, this will be a particularly special experience, as he won the Champions League with Flensburg in 2014 before returning to Denmark to play for BSV.
In fact, he was a decisive figure in the final against no other than Kiel.
“I am really looking forward to visiting Flens Arena again and to meeting my former teammates and the people around the team and the club. That said, I am sure we will be in for an even tougher challenge in Flensburg than we were in Kiel.
“Flensburg play a different style than Kiel, not taking so many chances. Furthermore, I consider them to be a bit better than Kiel at the moment. In fact, I am in no doubt that we will be meeting the coming German champions on Saturday.
“I hope we can perform another miracle, and if not, I hope we will still have the chance to proceed,” concludes Rasmussen.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg