EHF European League: Nexe Našice Writes History with Final 4 Spot!

EHF European League: Nexe Našice Writes History with Final 4 Spot!
Slobodan Kadic

May 4, 2022 - Nexe Našice and GOG drew 37:37 in the return match of the EHF European League quarterfinals and is the first Croatian club to advance to the Final 4 of the prestigious European handball club competition!

Nexe thus wrote the history of Našice, Slavonia, and Croatian handball, achieving this phenomenal success. NEXE drew against the Danish club GOG in the full Phönix Tag Arena in Gudme, and defended the advantage from the first meeting a week ago when they celebrated 32:27.

Nexe played a brilliant 20 minutes, and then missed a lot of opportunities in the last ten or so in the first half. Instead of a convincing lead, they were -2 after 30 minutes of play. Fortunately, this did not leave a mark on their game, which was mostly thanks to the young Dominik Kuzmanović who singlehandedly shattered Gudme's dreams of qualifying for the final tournament. 


Nexe Našice opened the match well, easily led 1:3, gained confidence, and controlled the match almost without major difficulties. When Branko Tamše's team took the lead for the first time with three goals, the home coach was forced to ask for a timeout. The first quarter of the match was not yet over. 

Nexe had the answer to GOG's game. Whether it was a quick transition, an attack on full defense, or a threat to take the ball away for a passive attack. The first half had three heroes. Mihailo Radovanović managed to defend against seven home attacks. Halil Jaganjac and Predrag Vejin played with GOG's defense and scored from all possible positions.

Nexe was up by 4 in the 21st minute (13:17). GOG equalized with a 4:0 series in less than four minutes and at the end of the first half was up 22:20. It was the first serious warning for Nexe that the end is still far away.

The second great crisis arose at the beginning of the second half. In less than five minutes, GOG was up by 4 (26:22) and had an attack for five points. Dominik Kuzmanović quickly shattered all hopes, and Nexe had a 0:6 series and returned for the 26:28 advantage.

In the 48th minute, they were up by 4 again (27:31) and ended at 37:37, which means that Nexe secured a spot in the EHF European League Final 4!

Simon Bogetoft Pytlik was brilliant for GOG with 11 goals. Halil Jaganjac scored 12 goals from 16 attempts, which is fantastic for an outside player. Predrag Vejin scored 7, and Marin Jelinić 6 out of 6 attempts.

The EHF European League Final 4 is played on May 28 and 29. The host will be known in the next ten days, as the EHF is waiting to see who will make it to the final tournament. Nexe is also a candidate to host the final tournament.

Source: HRS

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page