12 Nov. 2023
SC Magdeburg mounted a strong comeback to secure their third title in a row at the IHF Men’s Super Globe, after a dramatic final against Füchse Berlin, which saw the German side take a 34:32 win, after extra-tme.
The German side became only the second team in history, after FC Barcelona, to seal three titles in a row in the competition, while Füchse lost their third final in a row, remaining with only two trophies.
Füchse Berlin (GER) vs SC Magdeburg (GER) 32:34 a.e.t. (16:13; 29:29)
The first final of the IHF Men’s Super Globe between two teams from the same country had a hugely entertaining proposition for the fans: two of the best teams in the world – Füchse Berlin and SC Magdeburg, two sides which were able to deliver a great show - were facing off in Dammam, with the coveted trophy on display and ready to be sealed.
Magdeburg had a 12-match winning streak entering this match, conceding only one loss in 17 matches in the history of the competition, but Füchse were, as well, two-time winners of the IHF Men’s Super Globe, with the question asked being who is going to be the second team in history, after FC Barcelona, to secure the title in the competition three times.
This was going to be Germany’s sixth trophy at the IHF Men’s Super Globe, only following Spain, with nine titles, but both Magdeburg and Füchse wanted to etch their name into history and that was clear to be seen from the start of the match, as both teams went full gas, after a long competition, which saw them play for the fourth time in six days.
But it was Füchse which started the game better, in spite of the top scorer of this edition, Mathias Gidsel, being limited by the Magdeburg defence, which knew exactly what to do to stop him. Yet Füchse found creative ways to score, usually deploying the ball into the hands of left wing Jerry Tollbring, who had a flawless start of the match, to lift his team to a 7:4 lead.
It was also thanks to goalkeeper Dejan Milosavljev that Füchse managed to create their lead, as he saved four of the six shots he faced in the first nine minutes. Knowing fully well that a weak start is a recipe from disaster, as themselves had put Barcelona under pressure the same way in the previous final, Magdeburg bounced back and tied the match, 7:7, but they still were not at 100%, with easy misses piling up.
As coach Bennet Wiegert tried everything for his side to bounce back, Füchse were still in total control, with Gidsel and Tollbring going full gas, as they combined for 10 goals in the first half, with the German Bundesliga leaders opening a three-goal lead at the break, 16:13, with Magdeburg in a perilous position.
But if one team-talk at the break had any effect, it must have been Jaron Siewert’s for Füchse, as the reigning EHF European League Men champions started the second half even stronger, creating the first five-goal lead in the match, 19:14, after a pair of Mathias Gidsel goals, with the Danish right back cementing his position as the top scorer of the 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe.
Yet like in the previous edition, nothing was over until the final whistle was blown. Magdeburg powered back into the match and took their first lead, 24:23, after 46 minutes, thanks to a 7:2 run, coming after their excellent defence stood head and shoulders above Füchse, as their rivals starting to feel the fatigue.
But there were still Gidsel – with nine goals and six assists – and Dejan Milosavljev, who delivered an outstanding performance for Füchse. While the Danish right back became the fulcrum of the attack, the Serbian goalkeeper stopped 18 shots, including three penalties, boasting a 40% saving efficiency at the end of the regular time.
And it was thanks to those two players that Füchse was still in the match, after Jaron Siewert called an incorrect team time-out and a penalty was awarded to Magdeburg with eight seconds left. It was the exact scenario as the one in the semi-final against Barça and once again Milosavljev stood tall, saving his fourth penalty and sending the match to extra-time.
There, it was Magdeburg which shined, with an extraordinary display of grit and an excellent defence, taking a 34:32 win, as Füchse could only score three goals in the 10 minutes of extra-time.
More experienced, after they already secured the title in the last edition in this way, Magdeburg managed a historic three-peat, after having already beaten FC Barcelona in the previous two finals.