La Rioja secure second win of the season
Despite being eliminated from the competition, Spanish side La Rioja won a second game this season in the Group Phase. Due to this loss, Saint-Raphaël can now only finish second in Group A but have still secured a ticket to the quarter-finals.
- Saint-Raphaël will now finish second of the group
- La Rioja won their second game of the Group Phase
- Saint-Raphaël’s Alexandru Simicu was the game’s top scorer with seven goals
Logroño La Rioja (ESP) vs Saint-Raphaël Var HB (FRA) 29:28 (15:14)
The home side started in a better fashion, with its defence proving to be efficient to stop Saint-Raphaël’s fast attacks. Except for Alexandru Simicu, last year’s finalists were struggling to find solutions to score goals.
Miguel Sanchez Migallon did not experiencing the same trouble, and scored three in the first 10 minutes, helping his team take a three-goal advantage after 24 minutes (13:10).
Despite being already qualified, the visitors could still hope for the first spot of the group, and quickly got back on track, being only down by one at the break.
They even did better than that when coming back on the court, shortly taking the lead by one goal after one of Raphaël Caucheteux’s fastbreaks.
But that did not last long as, in the long run, La Rioja kept finding solutions in defence. Adrien Dipanda, in particular, was struggling, and with their captain on a bad day, the French club could not take the upper hand.
Just eight minutes before the end of the game, the hosts were back up with a two-goal advantage and managed to keep it all the way until the end, despite missing their last two shots.Author: Kevin Domas/jh