Thrilling Final: Barca emerges victorious after drama against Aalborg

Aalborg and Barca have made it all the way to the final. After a close match, the Spanish team emerged victorious.

For the second time, these teams meet in the final. The Danish team hoped for a different outcome than in 2021, while Barca aimed to extend their record of titles. Aalborg was aiming for the trophy for the first time in history.

Barca seemed to have the upper hand during the first 20 minutes, but Aalborg stayed close. Dika Mem was prominent in Barca’s offense and posed a significant threat. Niklas Landin kept Aalborg in the game with several crucial saves. Emil Nielsen couldn’t quite find his form, so Gonzalo Perez de Vargas took over in goal.

At the end of the first half, Barca struggled against Denmark’s defense and had to work hard for their chances. The teams matched each other goal for goal and went into the break with an equal score.

Halftime: Aalborg Handball (DEN) – Barca (ESP) 15–15

The second half started just as evenly. Melvyn Richardson and Dika Mem continued to be major threats in Barca’s offense, while Mads Hoxer Hangaard and Mikkel Hansen led Aalborg’s attack.

Aalborg had to fight harder to create scoring opportunities and often relied on long possessions to break through Barca’s defense. With just under 15 minutes left, the score was still tied. Timothey N’guessan for Barca and Thomas Arnoldsen for Aalborg took on significant roles in their respective offenses. Emil Nielsen returned to Barca’s goal.

20 minutes into the second half, Barca received their first suspension. Mikkel Hansen remained reliable from the penalty line, and the teams continued to exchange goals. Barca gained a two-goal lead, prompting Aalborg to play seven against six after their timeout, which paid off immediately. However, Barca pulled ahead again, extending their lead to three goals. Dika Mem was suspended with just under four minutes left, and Mikkel Hansen converted the penalty.

Aalborg took advantage of Barca’s empty goal to reduce the deficit. With just over a minute remaining, Aalborg had a chance to equalize with their seven-against-six play but failed. Barca called a timeout but also couldn’t score. Aalborg had one last chance to equalize with ten seconds left. Dika Mem was suspended, and Aalborg was awarded a free throw as time expired. Unfortunately for Mikkel Hansen, his shot hit the crossbar, and Barca claimed the victory.

Final score: Aalborg Handball (DEN) – Barca (ESP) 30–31