Aalborg and Barca advance to final

The semifinals in the Final 4 have concluded and the finalists are decided. Aalborg and () will compete for the gold tomorrow, while Magdeburg and () will play for the bronze.

Semifinal 1: SC Magdeburg (GER)–Aalborg Håndbold (DEN)

The match began evenly, with both teams displaying great fighting spirit. Mads Hoxer Hangaard and Felix Claar impressed early with their fine actions. The game was dominated by strong defense from both sides, and after about 18 minutes, Aalborg switched goalkeepers, with Fabian Norsten replacing Niklas Landin, who hadn’t quite found his form.

Neither team managed to pull away, and the score remained close. Ómar Ingi Magnusson was outstanding for Magdeburg and had already scored five goals within the first 20 minutes. At halftime, the score was 11–11, indicating that the match would remain close for the remaining 30 minutes. Fabian Norsten had the strongest performance among the goalkeepers, finishing the first half with a save percentage of approximately 50 percent. Sergey Hernandez saved six out of 17 shots, giving him a save percentage of about 35.29 percent.

The second half

Norsten continued to impress in the second half, but the teams remained neck and neck. After almost 13 minutes, Christian O’Sullivan was sent off after receiving a red card following a video review. Ómar Ingi Magnusson remained reliable in his shots, but despite this, Magdeburg couldn’t pull ahead. Aalborg’s Rene Antonsen had to leave the field with what appeared to be a minor injury.

Sebastian Barthold, Thomas Arnoldsen, and Mikkel Hansen took increasing responsibility in Aalborg’s offense and managed to keep pace with Magdeburg. With just under five minutes remaining, the score was 24–24. Niklas Landin returned to the goal late in the second half and made a crucial save, allowing Aalborg to take a two-goal lead. Magdeburg was under pressure to convert their penalty to narrow the gap to one goal, which Magnusson succeeded in doing. However, they couldn’t stop Aalborg from scoring in the next attack and had to accept defeat. Aalborg is thus set for the Final 4 final.

Final score: SC Magdeburg–Aalborg Håndbold 26–28 (11–11)

Semifinal 2: Barca (ESP)–THW Kiel (GER)

Barca started the match with a strong and effective defensive play, resulting in easy goals forward. However, Kiel didn’t let Barça pull too far ahead, turning a 1–4 deficit into a 4–4 tie. Barca failed to capitalize on their advantage when Patrick Wiencek was sent off.

Kiel struggled to find promising shooting opportunities against Barca’s defense, but when they did, Emil Nielsen often stood in the way. With ten minutes remaining, Barca made a small surge, and Kiel had to fight hard to keep the Spanish team within reach. Emil Nielsen continued to pose problems for Kiel, allowing Barca to enter halftime with a six-goal lead.

The second half

Jonathan Carlsbogard opened the second half with two consecutive goals, further extending Barca’s lead, while Emil Nielsen continued to make saves. Swedish duo Niclas Ekberg and Karl Wallinius each contributed a goal, narrowing Barca’s lead to four goals. However, it didn’t take long for the gap to widen again to six goals, then seven, eight, nine, and finally, ten goals difference.

Kiel had little to offer, and when they did have good scoring chances, a certain Nielsen stood in the way. A clear difference between the teams in this match was the goalkeepers. With ten minutes remaining, Barca substituted Emil Nielsen for Gonzalo Perez de Vargas Moreno. When the final whistle blew, the scoreboard showed 30–18 in favor of Barca, securing their spot alongside Aalborg in the final.

Final score: Barca – THW Kiel 30–18 (15–9)