EHF Finals Men table complete as Nexe and Benfica earn maiden berths

04 May. 2022

EHF Finals Men table complete as Nexe and Benfica earn maiden berths

Four teams have earned safe passage to the EHF Finals Men after a crunch round in the quarter-finals, where three favourites confirmed their status, while the fourth one was eliminated by a plucky outsider.

The reigning champions of the EHF European League Men, German powerhouse SC Magdeburg, continued their dream season with a 58:53 aggregate win against HBC Nantes in the most interesting clash of the quarter-finals.

It was a classic battle between two strong sides, of which Magdeburg took control with a 28:25 away win in the first leg. Powered by a 12-goal outing from Danish left back Michael Damgaard Nielsen, Magdeburg sealed a 30:28 win in the away leg to progress to the EHF Finals Men for the second season in a row.

The most lopsided win was registered by Polish outfit Orlen Wisła Płock, who sealed a 68:53 aggregate win against Swiss team Kadetten Schaffhausen, including a dominating 35:22 win in the second leg, with two left wings, Lovro Mihic and Przemyslaw Krajewski, combining for 14 goals.

SL Benfica became only the third Portuguese team to reach the top four of the second-tier European competition, after ABC Braga and FC Porto, with a 63:56 aggregate win against Slovenian team Gorenje Velenje and are in with a chance to seal their third berth for a European final, after being runners-up in the EHF Men’s Challenge Cup in the 2010/11 and 2015/16 seasons.

Benfica’s Serbian left back Petar Djordjic has now scored 115 goals in 18 games, 90 of which came in the proper competition, with 25 being scored in the Qualification Phases 2 and 3.

However, the big surprise was RK Nexe’s aggregate win against Danish team GOG. After a 32:27 home win, Nexe were flying high ahead of the second leg, which produced an all-time classic in the first half, which GOG took by two goals, 22:20.

In the second part, Nexe was nothing short of amazing, kept GOG in check, as the game ended in a 37:37 draw, with the Croatian side securing their first-ever semi-finals berth in a European competition with a 69:64 aggregate win.

With 21 goals scored in the two games, Croatian left back Halil Jaganjac jumped to 120 goals this season, 97 of which came in the competition proper, an excellent run of form for the 23-year-old left back.

The second-tier European club competition has been won by German sides in 25 of the 39 editions played, with 20 of those wins coming over the last 22 seasons. However, Magdeburg are now the only German team qualified for the business end of the competition, while at least two German sides were clinching a place among the top four sides in each of the past five seasons.

For SL Benfica and RK Nexe, this will be the first time they compete for the trophy, while Orlen Wisła Płock finished fourth in last season, losing both games in the EHF Finals Men.

The last act of the EHF European League Men will take place on 28 and 29 May, with the semi-finals being announced in due time.

For more information on the EHF European League Men, visit

Photo: RK Nexe