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04.03.2017, 21:10◄ last page     

GROUP A REVIEW: Shaken SG end a series of defeats against the bravely fighting Danish side from Silkeborg.

Flensburg back on track thanks to Andersson

After losing against Barcelona and PSG, Flensburg cheated the gallows in VELUX EHF Champions League Group A: A 26:24 win against their Danish neighbours Bjerringbro-Silkeborg in a true thriller means the German side can still hope to finish in third position.

On the other hand, BSV missed a great chance to make a huge step towards the Last 16.

•    Flensburg record only their second home win in six matches of the group phase
•    With 13 points in their account and still two matches ahead, Flensburg can pass Veszprem (16 points) in the ranking
•    After winning at Kiel, BSV come close to another sensation on German ground
•    BSV striker Nikolaj Nielsen top scores the match with seven goals
•    Anders Zachariassen, Kentin Mahe and Rasmus Lauge Schmidt score five times each for Flensburg

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) 26:24 (10:11)

The Danish champions continued at Flensburg with the same form that saw them conquer the arena in Kiel a week ago. Former Flensburg goalkeeper Sören Rasmussen (40) stood like a rock behind the powerful, movable and well-adapted defence, which put enormous pressure on the hosts.

When Bjerringbro forged ahead from 4:4 to 9:7, Flensburg coach Ljubomir Vranjes needed to take an early time-out and made every effort to wake his players, mainly in defence. “I tried to explain it on the bench in a calm way, but nothing changed, so I needed to get louder. But the final result proves that may players understood what I wanted to tell them,” said Vranjes about the tense situation.

Defensive problems for Flensburg

Though the German side managed to level the result at 10:10 right before the break, their performance level was still lower than expected. The defence had problems, as defence boss Jakob Heinl had to leave the court early with a thigh injury.

BSV fought hard to remain on eye level and SG goalkeeper Kevin Möller was the only reason the visitors held a lead of just one goal at the break. Scoring five of his in total seven goals before the break, Nikolaj Nielsen was another key for the BSV lead.

Backed by a sold-out Flens-Arena, it seemed the hosts would find the means to turn the match around after the re-start, but Bjerringbro patiently waited for their chances and, atypical of the Scandinavian style, ran barely any counter attacks.


‘Magic Mattias’ saves the day

When his side were down 14:17, Vranjes took his next time-out and made a decision that changed the match completely – switching the goalkeeper from Möller to ‘Magic’ Mattias Andersson. The Swedish veteran saved the first three Bjerringbro shots against him, providing Flensburg with extra power.

At 19:19, the German side levelled the result again. After another outstanding Andersson save – one of eight in only 14 minutes – Flensburg took the lead at 21:20 with seven minutes to go.

“Maybe I was the match winner, maybe not. The two points are what counts”, said Andersson, adding: “In the first half the defence was too weak, in the end, we improved.”

While Andersson was humble, Vranjes praised his goalkeeper: “Definitely he was the match winner.”

World champion Kentin Mahe netted seconds later, and a successful shot into an empty-goal goal from Lasse Svan for 22:20 followed. But still – even when the score board showed 25:22 two minutes before the end – nothing was decided.

Flensburg caused two turnovers, BSV scored twice for 25:24, and so it was Svan’s job to seal the deal in Flensburg’s final attack.

The victory was not the only positive news for the hosts: Left back Rasmus Lauge Schmidt recently extended his contract until 2021.

“Now we put the pedal to the metal to take the third position,” the Danish international said.

TEXT: Bjorn Pazen / cg

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