Aalborg secure fifth position
Aalborg Håndbold finished the group phase of the Machineseeker EHF Champions League 2022/23 victorious, 34:31 against Celje, thanks to 10 goals from Aron Palmarsson. It was Aalborg’s third away win of the season — their first since the 41:29 result at Szeged on 6 October.
Having 13 points in their account at the conclusion of the group phase, the Danish side secured fifth position in the final group B ranking and will face the yet unknown fourth-ranked team from group A in the play-offs.
Two weeks after their great home fight against Barça, RK Celje Pivovarna Laško were chanceless on Wednesday and finished in seventh position on the table, knowing that they had missed a play-off spot before throw-off.
RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO) vs Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) 31:34 (15:19)
- after the level score of 4:4, Aalborg took full control of the match, pulled ahead after a 5:1 partial, and kept the margin until the break
- both sides were much stronger in attack compared to defence and goalkeeping, proven by the 34 goals in the first 30 minutes
- Aalborg were brilliant on counter attacks and Icelander Aron Palmarsson was unstoppable from left back, scoring 10 goals
- after a slow start, Celje’s and the Machineseeker EHF Champions League’s overall top scorer Aleks Vlah scored five times against the club he will join from next season on. Vlah finishes the group phase on 88 goals
- the match was decided when Aalborg’s Danish youngster Mads Hoxer Hangaard netted for 31:25 in minute 52, with Celje’s comeback starting too late
All-Danish play-off pairing possible
Will the 2022 finals of the Danish league be replayed in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League? In June 2022, GOG beat Aalborg to win the trophy, and the clubs might be opponents in the upcoming Champions League play-offs.
Aalborg secured fifth in group B by winning at Celje, while the Danish champions currently rank fourth in group A. If they finish there, GOG will face their country-fellows.
GOG are equal with Bucharest on points, but they lost the direct encounter against the Romanian champions. This means if GOG finish on the same number of points, Dinamo would finish fourth and face Aalborg in the play-offs. GOG host Zagreb later tonight, while Dinamo travel to Magdeburg on Thursday.
Photos: Slavko Kolar / Celje
The busy rhythm of the games has left its mark on us. Still, losing by three goals against Aalborg is not a disaster. We can be satisfied with our performance in the Champions League this season. We have proved that we can play with any team.