Berlin and Saint-Raphaël win, Balatonfüred out
Both away teams in Group A this Sunday, La Rioja and Balatonfüred were facing daunting tasks and althoug they both gave their favoured opponents a hard time, they did not manage to grab any points. For the Hungarian team this means they are out of the race.
If Berlin had to wait until the dying seconds of the game to secure their fourth straight win, Saint-Raphaël gave a brilliant defensive performance in the second half to take the upper hand.
- Balatonfüred are out of the race for the quarter-finals after their loss in Saint-Raphaël
- Raphaël Caucheteux and Vadim Gayduchenko scored eight each for the French side
- Berlin recorded their fourth consecutive win, Hans Lindberg helping them with eight goals.
Saint-Raphaël Val Handball (FRA) vs Balatonfüredi KC (HUN) 27:23 (13:12)
The first half was a tight one, none of the team really taking the upper hand. Only once did one of the two count a three-goal advantage, which the visitors did, after seven minutes. Saint-Raphaël didn’t manage to get past their opponents’ defence for the first seven minutes but Balatonfüredi didn’t use the opportunity to break away on the score board.
Once the French side found its rhythm, thanks to Raphaël Caucheteux and Vadim Gayduchenko, they made the score even after fourteen minutes (4:4). Saint-Raphaël even took a two-goal advantage seconds before the break but a last second goal by Laszlo Kemeny meant everything was yet to be decided in the second half.
The hosts pushed as soon as they came back from the dressing room. Two consecutive goals gave them their biggest lead of the game, 15:12. And Balatonfüredi, which faced elimination in the event of a defeat, weren’t going to let go that soon. Zoltan Szita, in particular, proved to be really efficient and helped his team to remain in the game.
But the hosts’ experience was going to be decisive in this confrontation, as they put their foot to the pedal in the last ten minutes of the game. Only conceding one goal between the 52nd minute and the end of the game, Saint-Raphaël scored four in the meantime, again by Caucheteux and Gayduchenko, to secure their third win of this Group Phase.
Füchse Berlin (GER) vs Logroño La Rioja (SPA) 29:27 (13:14)
The titleholders of the EHF Cup were clearly shaken in the first half, as their opponents had to get a result to keep alive their qualification chances. Much like last week, the Spanish side was efficient in attack, with Javier Munoz scoring six in the first thirty minutes alone.
Neither team was more than one goal ahead on the scoring board, with Paul Drux and Hans Lindberg providing some offensive action for the hosts. But, at half-time, La Rioja was ahead by one, 14:13.
The second half was going to be a tight matter too, as La Rioja refused to give anything up. If Hans Linderg was pursuing his one-man show on the wing, Sergey Hernandez Ferrer was saving some important shots to keep his team in the game.
Ten minutes before the end of the game, the visitors were only one goal down. But, in the last minutes, Berlin’s left-handers proved to be decisive, with Fabian Wiede scoring three times in the last two minutes to give his team a three-goal advantage, which was enough for them to take the two points.