Füchse finish group phase in style
After the defeat from rivals Saint-Raphaël Var Handball the day before, Füchse Berlin were already guaranteed of the top spot in Men’s EHF Cup Group A even before their last match on Sunday, against Balatonfüredi KSE.
Still, the defending champions took the match seriously and grabbed a 36:23 victory.
Berlin finish top of Group A, two points ahead of Saint-Raphaël
Berlin’s Mattias Zachrisson led with 10 goals for the hosts, while Balatonfüred’s Yury Semenov netted seven times
Füchse Berlin (GER) vs Balatonfüredi KSE (HUN) 36:23 (16:14)
Saint Raphaël’s defeat in La Rioja on Saturday meant that Berlin were finishing first of Group A, regardless of the result of their own match on Sunday.
"Today it was important to stay focused. Now we have the first place in our group and go with a positive feeling to the quarterfinal," Füchse coach Velimir Petkovic said.
The title-holders started the game against Balatonfüred firing on all cylinders. They quickly took a two-goal advantage, and doubled the difference after 14 minutes. However, the visitors clawed their way back into the match and even levelled the score even five minutes later.
"I am not satisfied with our defence in the first half," Berlin player Jakov Gojun said. "14 goals are too much against Balatonfüredi KSE. But in the second half we had the focus we wanted to have."
Füchse regained a two-goal lead at half-time (16:14) and strengthened their defence in the second half, enabling them to score easy goals on fast breaks.
Winger Mattias Zachrisson proved to be the most efficient scorer netting 10 times and helping his team break away on the score board.
Thanks to a 6-0 series, Berlin took a 10-goal advantage a few minutes before the final buzzer, and ultimately won by 13 goals.
"We only played well in the first half," Balatonfüred coach Istvan Csoknyai said. "In the second we had too many turn-overs, so Füchse ran many fast breaks."Author: Kevin Domas / ew