EHF Cup favourites make no mistakes
Round 3 of the Men’s EHF Cup Group Phase started without suprising results on Saturday. The respective favourites in the six matches all earned a victory.
Magdeburg and Göppingen lead their groups with the maximum six points
Chambéry came back from a five-goal deficit to win against Pulawy in Poland
Matthias Musche was Magdeburg’s top scorer for the third straight round
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) vs SKA Minsk (BLR) 32:30 (14:14)
Despite having huge problems with Minsk’s left back Uladzislau Kulesh, who scored nine goals, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg took take a narrow two-goal win to bring themselves three points ahead of their Belarusian opponents in the group.
The first half developed into a close affair, where the difference was never any bigger than one goal. Minsk were leading most of the way, but at half-time the scored was equal.
In the second half, however, Silkeborg took over the initiative, and 13 minutes into the half line player Michael V. Knudsen created the first two-goal difference in the match as he made it 22:20 for the home team.
Silkeborg also got five goals ahead several times, but towards the end the visitors reduced the gap to only one goal, before the home team scored the last goal of the match.
“We were up against a physically strong team, and we had particular problems with Kulesh.
“Furthermore, we did not play disciplined enough for parts of the match, and that was the reason why we did not get as big a win as we would have liked,” said Silkeborg left back Nikolaj Markussen who was his team´s most scoring player with nine goals.
Bjerringbro coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen was obviously “happy about the win.”
“It is important for us to keep hold of the second place,” he said. “We are going to Minsk next week to defend the two goals. Now we are three points ahead of Minsk and that is important.”
TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs SC Magdeburg (GER) 19:29 (11:16)
With 11 goals, left wing Matthias Musche became Magdeburg’s top scorer for the third EHF Cup match in succession while the EHF Cup Finals hosts earned their third consecutive win on Saturday.
Presov kept the match in the balance until 3:3 before Magdeburg started to make the difference.
A 5:3 lead was increased to 7:4 and 9:5, and the visitors stayed three or four goals ahead until they could even take a five-goal lead (16:11) with him to the dressing room after the first 30 minutes.
In the rather low-scoring second half, Magdeburg continuously increased their lead, having their largest lead at 27:16 shortly before the end.
While Magdeburg are on top of the group with the maximum six points, Presov remain on one point.
Helvetia Anaitasuna (ESP) vs Füchse Berlin 28:30 (11:17)
Füchse took their second EHF Cup win in succession, leaving their opponents on two points. But the end of the match in Pamplona became more exciting than the EHF Cup winners from 2015 had probably planned.
Although Füchse were leading by eight goals in the second half, Anaitasuna moved dangerously close at the end.
After a series of one-goal leads for Füchse, the visitors dominated the rest of the first half and Füchse went up by six (17:11) at half-time.
Early in the second half, the team from the German capital even got eight goals up at 20:12, 21:13 and 22:14, and the match seemed to be decided.
But Anaitasuna slowly worked their way back into the match and were only two down (27:25) with five minutes left.
The difference, however, never became smaller again.
RD Koper (SLO) vs RK Nexe (CRO) 27:31 (13:16)
A great finish to both halves and a stellar performance by goalkeeper Kristian Pilipovic enabled Nexe to double their points in the group through this three-goal win in Slovenia, while Koper are still on two points.
A successful 5-1 defence and efficiency in the attack allowed Koper to be dominating at the beginning, where the hosts got four goals up at 8:5 and 9:5.
With four successive goals, however, Nexe leveled the score (9:9) and it did not take the visitors much longer to establish the three-goal lead they would take with them to half-time (16:13).
In the second half, Nexe continued to dominate and got four goals up several times. However, this time it was Koper’s turn to catch up and that was exactly what they did (27:27).
That equaliser, however, turned out to be the hosts’ last goal as, with seven and a half minute still left, Pilipovic closed his goal and Nexe scored the last four goals of the match.
Cocks (FIN) vs Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) 20:31 (12:14)
Göppingen got their third win out of three as the defending champions had no trouble taking the two points in the Folksam Arena in Siuntio against the Finnish champions, who remain on zero points.
Göppingen were in the lead all the way though the margin in the first never was bigger than three (only once, at 11:8).
In the second half, the visitors removed any doubt about the outcome and increased their lead, cruising to an 11-goal win.
“We had some problems with the Cocks offense in the first half when they put in a second pivot. We defended the six-metre line much better in the second half. This gave our goalkeeper better chances and he had a saving percentage of 50,” Göppingen coach Rolf Brack said.
Cocks coach Gintaras Savukynas praised his team for ”a good first half. But in the second half we lost touch too early, which made the game easy for them to play.”
KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL) vs Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc Handball (FRA) 25:27 (15:12)
Chambéry kept their unbeaten status but they had to work hard for the points in the Hala Globus in Lublin Saturday afternoon.
Pulawy were the better team throughout the first half, and after a couple of two-goal leads, the home team went on to take a five-goal advantage at 14:9.
Chambéry reduced the deficit to three before half-time (15:12), but Pulawy remained in the driver seat during the first minutes of the second half.
The visitors, however, took their first lead in the match at 19:18 in the 43th minute.
Chambéry got two goals up at 20:18, and although Pulawy were able to equalise at 20:20, the rest of the match belonged to the visitors, who got three goals ahead before winning by two.
“The French league is better than the Polish, so we had more strength in the second half. That was the key to our success,” was Chambéry coach Ivica Obrvan said.
Pulawy coach Daniel Waszkiewicz called it “a very good game.”
“We played well in the first half but it was not enough,” he added. “We just made too many mistakes, missed some easy throws.”Author: Peter Bruun / ew