March 19, 2023
The play-offs have started in the Baltic Handball League. There are two matches in the quarter-final round. Each pair will face off against each other at home and away, with the winners of both pairs advancing to the final four based on the aggregate score of the two matches.
The 2021 BHL champion Dragūnas Klaipėda hosted the Latvian champion ZRHK TENAX Dobele in the quarter-finals. Already in the first period, the Dragūnas team gained a 5-goal lead over ZRHK TENAX Dobele. In the second period, the hosts had lead a 5-goal until the 52nd minute. At the end of the match, the Dobele’s team played better in attack. Dragūnas gained a 3-goal advantage before the return match.
Dragūnas Klaipėda – ZRHK TENAX Dobele 24:21 (12:8)
Dragūnas – Drakšas 8, Šmantauskas 5, Odinokov 3, Simonavičius 3.
Dobele – Miķelsons 5, Kreicbergs 4, Usāns 4, Arājs 3, Juzups 3.
Gintaras Cibulskis (coach, Dragūnas Klaipėda):
The game was very tenacious, there was a lot of emotions. We collected too many two minute suspensions, made a lot of mistakes. In the second half the game was almost at a standstill. However, we expected a serious fight from our opponents. We could have had a much bigger lead. There were several chances to build a bigger, safe lead but we didn’t do it and Dobele punished us. Three goals is a small number and that lead can be lost in two minutes.
Sandris Veršakovs (coach, ZRHK TENAX Dobele):
As we expected, it was a very tough match. We had good chances in the first 15 minutes but we didn’t score. We scored only 21 goals in this match. The opponent’s goalkeeper and defense played very well. We also played quite well in defense and missed only 24 goals. We will analyze the first match, correct mistakes and prepare for the second leg. Three goals are neither too much nor little in the modern handball. We want a rematch at home. An interesting handball awaits the fans.
Oskars Arajs (player, ZRHK TENAX Dobele):
The game was very difficult for us. I don’t know why, but we couldn’t get into the rhythm. Usually we score more, but today we scored 21 goals only, that’s unusual for us. We score more than 25 goals always. Yes, their goalkeeper did a good job, but we had to play better. But overall I think we did well, because we fought till the last second. We will see Dragūnas in Dobele next week. I think there will be a very nice and enjoyable game and it will be a different game. We will win!
The second leg of the quarter-final will be played on March 25 in Dobele.