Hannover and Tatabanya draw a thriller while Rabotnik shock Nexe
Jam-packed stands welcomed the Hungarian bronze medallists in the fourth round of Men’s EHF Cup in Hannover. Both teams had their own excellent periods of the contest but in the end the sides finished with a fair draw.
Then, HC Eurofarm Rabotnik caused RK Nexe’s first loss in the Group Phase as the home team also got their first points in the tournament.
- Milos Vujovic (Tatabánya) found the net 7 times in the first half alone
- 9 different players netted for Hannover, 4 players finished with 5 goals for the home club
- Ante Gadza scored 9 for Nexe
- After allowing Rabotnik to score only 18 in the previous round Nexe suffered 29 in this match, the most they have conceded in the tournament
TSV Hannover-Burgdorf (GER) vs Grundfos Tatabanya KC (HUN) 27:27 (14:14)
Although the rendez-vous for the second spot in the quartet started with Fabian Böhm’s goal for Hannover, in the following minutes Marton Szekely from the Hungarian side pulled off many great saves as his team took the lead.
After Ortega Perez called a timeout his squad changed in defence and forced the away line up to go 5 minutes without scoring which created a 5:1 run.
A roller coaster would sum up the whole match as the “miners” turned the tie around as they answered back with a 6:1 stretch. However, the sides went in to the half-time break at 14:14.
In the second half, the clubs were neck-and-neck as Tatabánya developed a three-goal lead with thunderous shots by the line players but yet again, the German side came back with an efficient man coverage in defence. This led the home team to finish the contest with a 5:2 run as they reached a draw and kept 1 point in Swiss Life Hall.
The distance is still two points between Tatabánya and Hannover and the German side still has the chance to advance to the quarter-finals.
Hannover head coach Carlos Ortega said afterwards, "That was a hard fought match tonight. Our defence was on a high level, but we made too many mistakes on offense, especially in powerplay." One of Ortega's players, Kai Häfner, added, "We wanted more, so of course we are disappointed. But you can't expect to win in Europe if you make so many mistakes."
Tatabanya's Vladan Matic was satisfied with the outcome, "I'm happy with how we played for the first 55 minutes. In the end we made a lot of mistakes against the 5:1 defense. If you would have told me before the game that we would draw, I would have accepted it gladly." Adam Juhasz also realised the significance of the draw, "I'm happy with the result today, but not happy with the way we played in the end. Regardless, the one point was very important for us."
HC Eurofarm Rabotnik (MKD) vs RK Nexe (CRO) 29:28 (14:12)
Neither of the sides could find the net in the first 5 minutes until finally Rabotnik’s Neven Stepanjovic scored from 9 metres and broke the deadlock.
The first time-out came only after 10 minutes when the home team led by 3 as Nexe were not able to score at all.
Although the Croatian club woke up later and decreased the difference they were still 2 goals behind the hosts when the first half ended.
The group leaders continued their struggles in the second period with many missed shots and turnovers as Rabotnik increased their lead to 7.
Hrvoje Horvat’s squad tried to come back with empty goal attacks, however they did not succeed and lost for the first time in the Group Phase of the Men’s EHF Cup which also resulted as the first win for Bozidar Mojsov, the new head coach of the Macedonian side.
Nexe will host Tatabánya in next round’s battle for first place while Hannover visit Rabotnik in what will be the last chance for either team to advance to the quarter-finals.
Author: Bela Muller/at