AEK dominant against Ystad
AEK Athens HC took a step towards winning their first ever international title, beating Ystads IF at home 30:26 in the first leg of the EHF European Cup Men final.
However, this tie is still very much open, and although the second-leg match on Sunday will also take place in Greece, Ystad will certainly have a chance to overcome a four-goal deficit.
FINAL, FIRST LEG
AEK Athens HC (GRE) vs Ystads IF (SWE) 30:26 (16:12)
- Ystads are playing their first ever European final, while AEK had already been at this level, losing to Romania's AHC Potaissa Turda in the Challenge Cup 2017/18
- Athens enjoyed a better start of the game, and powered by Thomas Bauer's saves, they led 11:5 midway through the first half
- however, Ystads reduced the deficit to four goals, 16:12, at half-time, and with 10 minutes to go, they closed the gap to 26:24
- a timeout helped AEK to score three goals in a row and lead 29:24, and they went on to win by four goals
- the winners will be decided on Sunday at 20:00 CEST
Great effort by Bauer
This season, Thomas Bauer has helped Athens to win in many matches on their way to the final. And now the Austrian goalkeeper again showed that he is one of the key players for AEK.
His multiple saves helped the Greek time to pull clear early in the game and stay in front later on, and if he is just as reliable on Sunday, Athens will have a big chance to claim the trophy.