GOG beat Aalborg in all-Danish clash to write history
Despite key players such as Mikkel Hansen, Felix Claar or Aron Palmarsson being injured, Aalborg managed to finish the first leg against GOG with a two-goal advantage. This first game had been the opportunity for young players to step into the spotlight, with Marinus Munk being the best example.
Tonight, Aalborg were almost as injury-ridden, with only Felix Claar making a comeback, and the 2021 Champions League finalists gave GOG another run for their money. But this time, their resistance only lasted for 45 minutes.
After leading early by six goals, the hosts put their pedal to the metal in the last 15 minutes; after playmaker, Morten Olsen was given a red card. But with Lukas Jorgensen and Simon Pytlick on top form, GOG were able to break away again, booking their first-ever Champions League quarter-final ticket thanks to an eight-goal win.
GOG (DEN) vs Aalborg Handbold (DEN) 32:24 (15:11)
GOG won 60:54 on aggregate
- powered by a very strong defence, GOG took an excellent start, pushing every opportunity and taking an early six-goal lead at the 13th minute after a fastbreak by Jerry Tollbring
- the physiology of the game changed when Mikael Aggefors entered the court between Aalborg’s posts. Thanks to three straight saves, the Swede allowed the visitors to come back within two at the 19th-minute mark
- after reaching the break leading by four, GOG saw their centre-back Morten Olsen given a red card in the 38th minute
- this did not seem to bother the hosts, as they scored six consecutive goals right after to open an eight goals gap, the largest of the game so far at the 45th minute
- once in the driving seat, the hosts never let go of their advantage, Simon Pytlick and Lukas Jorgensen never letting their foot off the pedal in the last 15 minutes
- in the quarter-finals, GOG will play against Barça
Morten Olsen’s red card put GOG back on track
It is sometimes strange how an event that should put you off instead gives you some extra focus. When the referees sent Morten Olsen off for a harsh foul in the 37th minute, GOG were only leading by three and could feel Aalborg breathing down their neck. But with their usual playmaker out, Simon Pytlick, Emil Madsen and Lukas Jorgensen took on some more responsibilities. The trio scored six straight goals to put their team up by eight right and put their team's name on the road to the Truckscout 24 EHF FINAL4 2023.
Photos: Lau Nielsen / GOG
First of all, I'd like to congratulate to GOG and to Nicolej Krickau for doing a good job. It was a well-deserved victory. We knew that two goals advantage from the first match wasn't much against GOG. They have had nice stability this season and proved that today as well.
We had the chance, but we didn't take it. I wish GOG good luck representing Denmark in the quarter-finals.
It was clear today that Tobias Thulin in goal made the difference. He secured our defence, and that gave us the possibility to do more in offence. I have to say that Aalborg gave us a nice game in spite of their many injuries.