Mandalinic spoils PAUC’s group phase premiere
PAUC stood strong in their first ever EHF Cup group match in club history, but in the end, Füchse Berlin take the points thanks to six strikes from their Croatian shooter Stipe Mandalinic and a strong defence.
- Martin Larsen (PAUC) and Stipe Mandalinic (Füchse) were top scorers by six goals each.
- PAUC were ahead only three times in the match (1:0, 7:6, 8:7)
- The biggest gap were four goals at the 18:14 in favour of Berlin
- Berlin will face Tatabanya in round 2, while PAUC travel to Logrono
PAUC Handball (FRA) vs Füchse Berlin (GER) 23:25 (10:11)
After Tatabanya had started their mission in Group D with a victory on Saturday, the hosts of the EHF Cup Finals kept pace on Sunday.
Despite some injury problems, the Foxes were quite dominant and spoiled the group phase debut of PAUC in their first ever EHF Cup season.
Without goalkeeper Dejan Milosavljev and the right backs Wiede and Zachrisson, Berlin had to cope with a quite shaky start, while the French hosts began quite confidently, though they even had to replace more injured players (Darko Cingesar, Vid Kavticnik, Baptiste Bonnefond and Matthieu Ong).
The first half was a pure defensive battle with a low score of only 21 goals, and a slight advantage for the 2015 and 2018 EHF Cup winners from the German capital.
Thanks to a strong period from their Croatian back court stars Stipe Mandalinic and Marko Kopljar in the middle of the second half, Berlin forged ahead, 19:15.
But PAUC struck back and reduced the gap to only one goal at 20:21.
At crunch time, it was not the experienced Füchse stars, but the youngsters Frederik Simak and Kevin Struck, who scored the crucial goals.
Finally, Mandalinic’s sixth strike for a 25:22 lead sealed the deal.Author: Bjorn Pazen /at