21 Years in the making

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21 Years in the making

June 19, 2023

After 21 years, SC Magdeburg win the Machineseeker EHF Champions Leaguer for a fourth time in club history in the final match against Barlinek Industria Kielce 30:29 (13:15) (26:26).


by J. Schuetz


Before the Match

Magdeburg’s head coach, Bennet Wiegert, summarized the prospect of his team during Friday’s media call already.

“It is a big chance for us to go for it,” when referring to winning the most esteemed tournament in club handball.

Following the dramatic semifinal win against the reigning champions from FC Barcelona – it took extra time and a penalty shoot-out before Magdeburg left the pitch as winners – many of the pundits asked the question if the underdogs had enough energy left before the clash with the 2016 winners from Poland, especially, after the shoulder injury of center-back, Gisli Kristjansson.

The Result

The one-goal win (30:29) in a match which once again required extra time, sealed a historic weekend for SC Magdeburg. Coach Wiegert recorded a second EHF Champions League victory after the success in 2002 as a player and the outstanding performance of Icelandic playmaker, Kristjansson, was recognized with the MVP award.

The Game

Much to the surprise of the 19.750 spectators in attendance, Gisli Kristjansson was part of Magdeburg’s lineup. The dislocated shoulder suffered in the semifinal a day earlier would not prevent the Icelandic international to play in the most important match of his life, as he would state later.  His six goals certainly helped to make the difference.

Midway through the second half Kielce appeared in control of the match before a horrendous event interrupted the game.  Pawel Kotwica, a Polish journalist, had collapsed on the media tribune and as it turned out would not recover and regain consciousness.

During the interruption which lasted several minutes, Magdeburg’s coach Wiegert offered to concede the match as Kielce was leading at the time.  Talant Dujshebaev (head coach, Kielce) would have accepted the offer, but only if both teams were awarded as winners of the tournament.

As agreement could not be reached, the match continued, Magdeburg regained and kept the momentum until the final whistle.

Post-Game Reactions

Michael Damgaard (SC Magdeburg)

Alex Dujshebaev (Barlinek Industria Kielce)


Kay Smits – over the course of the two games, the Dutch right-back  was the dominant scorer (20) for SC Magdeburg and crowned a break-through season with his first EHF Champions League win.


SC Magdeburg

K. Smits (8), G. Kristjansson (6), M. Damgaard (6), M. Musche (4), M. Saugstrup (3), D. Petterson (1), C. O’Sullivan (1), O. Bergendahl (1)

Barlinek Industria Kielce

A. Dujshebaev (8), A. Moryto (5), D. Nahi (5), D. Dujshebaev (3), A. Karalek (3), B. Kounkoud (2), N. Tournat (2), S. Sicko (1)

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