GOG secure second spot with high-scoring win, not through to quarter-finals yet
The next decision in Group D of the Men’s EHF Cup was made tonight as GOG grabbed a crucial win against KS Azoty-Pulawy SA in Round 5 to finish in second place in the group after THW Kiel secured top position and a ticket straight to the AKQUINET EHF CUP FINALS after four rounds of matches.
Ahead of the GOG match, Kiel kept their clean record by beating Fraikin BM. Granollers, but the team from Denmark will only they know whether they make it to the quarter-finals or not as one of the three best second-ranked teams after the group phase completes
Kiel keep their clean record with their fifth win in five matches
Adrian Figueras scored nine goals for Granollers and is on 54 goals in total, second-ranked in the top scorer list.
GOG are the first team in this Group Phase to score more than 40 goals in a single match.
GOG are on six points now after their second victory against Pulawy
THW Kiel (GER) vs Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) 34:28 (20:13)
One day after THW announced they had secured the transfer of world star Sander Sagosen from Paris in 2020, the team made the fans happy again, beating the Spanish side at home.
The ‘Zebras’ were strong from the start until the end, leaving Granollers without any chance in this match and their race for the quarter-finals, as they remain on three points and have no possibility of progressing through to the final eight.
Thanks to a great show from Danish goalkeeper Niklas Landin, Kiel made a perfect start and sealed the points already at the break, ahead by seven goals (20:13).
Though Granollers got stronger in the middle of the second half, mainly thanks to the nine goals from Adrian Figueras, Kiel kept the control of the match and took their fifth victory in five, their 21st home win in their 21st Men’s EHF Cup match since 1998.
“Granollers played much better tonight against us than they did in their home match,” said Kiel coach Alfred Gislason. “We were very strong in the last 15 minutes of the first half, played a strong defence and had good goalkeeping, but in the second half we made too many technical faults and Granollers played well.
“They had the chance to reduce our two-goal lead, but Landin saved the two counter-attacks and the win was deserved; we wanted to play seriously and we did.”
Granollers coach Antonio Rama was more succinct with his match opinion. “For us it was a knockout game and now we are out of the EHF Cup, but we played well.
“It is so difficult to play with our centimetres (in height) vs their centimetres, with our kilos (in weight) vs their kilos.”
GOG (DEN) vs KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL) 41:29 (21:19)
After some initial problems and a quite equal first half, GOG fully accelerated after the break, proved by a 20:10 second half scoreline.
Like in their first duel, which GOG had won luckily in the dying minutes in Poland, the visitors stood strong in the first 30 minutes and did not allow GOG to pull ahead easily.
But after the break, Emi Laerke (top scorer with six goals) and his teammates ran over Pulawy in a high-speed fashion. The Poles missed too many chances and were immediately punished by the Danish counter-attack goals. Pawel Podsiadlo scored six times for Pulawy, but they could not stop the Danes.
By six points and goal difference of plus five goals, GOG are still part of the quarter-final race, but to secure the spot, they mostly need to win their final group match at Granollers next time around.
TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc