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17.02.2018, 23:30◄ last page     


DAY REVIEW: Saturday sees Saint-Raphael and Frisch Auf Göppingen earn their second victories out of two Men's EHF Cup Group Phase matches
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Second wins for Saint-Raphael and Göppingen

Saint-Raphael Var Handball and Frisch Auf Göppingen secured their second wins in succession in the Men’s EHF Cup Group Phase on Saturday – both in convincing style. Also on Saturday, Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc Handball took their first victory, while an impressive comeback secured SKA Minsk a draw in Slovakia.

• Saint-Raphael and Göppingen both count maximum points after two matches in Groups B and C
• Chambery remain undefeated in Group D
• In Group A, TATRAN Presov lead by up to six before finishing with a draw at home against SKA Minsk


GROUP A
TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs SKA Minsk (BLR) 25:25 (13:11)

SKA Minsk trailed for more than 50 minutes in Slovakia on Saturday evening, but still managed to secure a draw after a close finish. It was an equaliser from Vladyslav Dontsov that earned the Belarusian visitors their first point in the competition.

Presov were dominant for most of the first half. Their 2:0 lead increased to a steady three-goal advantage, before the 2,200 spectators boosted the home team to a four-goal distance at 10:6, and even six at 13:7.

With the last four goals of the first half however, Minsk reduced the distance to just two goals at the break. Presov managed to stay three or four goals ahead for most of the second period, but with five and a half minutes left, Minsk levelled the score for the first time, at 22:22.

The rest of the match, the score changed between a stand-off and a one-goal lead for Presov, until Dontsov’s eighth goal in the match with four seconds left meant that the teams split the points.

GROUP B
Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA) vs Helvetia Anaitasuna (ESP) 36:27 (18:13)

Saint-Raphael had no problem securing their second win in succession, as they ran over Anaitasuna in Palais des Sports JF Krakowski on Saturday night.

"We started the game well. In the beginning the defence was good, [goalkeeper Mihai] Popescu was in place behind us," said Saint-Raphael left wing Raphael Caucheteux. "Our goal after winning in Berlin is to finish first in the group. We have to win all our home games."

Saint-Raphael_Anaitasuna_565

Anaitasuna scored the first goal of the match, but from that point, Saint-Raphael were in control. The 1:0 deficit soon turned into a 4:1 lead, and after a series of three-goal advantages, the home team pulled further ahead to 13:8 at the 20-minute mark.

The French side maintained the same distance for the rest of the first half, and continued to increase their lead after the break. Their advantage was at its highest when they were 11 goals up at 36:25.

Saint-Raphael are now on four points, while Anaitasuna remain on two.

GROUP C
RD Koper (SLO) vs Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) 20:25 (10:15)

Göppingen earned their second set of two points with little trouble on Saturday night, as the defending back-to-back champions visited Sportna Dvorana Bonifika in Koper, Slovenia. The German side found solutions for Koper’s 5-1 and 3-2-1 defensive formations, grabbing the initiative from the start.

Koper reduced the away team’s lead from 6:2 to 6:5, but Göppingen responded by increasing the advantage to 12:5. After being five goals up at half-time, they reestablished their seven-goal lead at 21:14.

With five goals in a row, Koper reduced the gap to two at 21:19, but once again, Göppingen fought off the hosts’ comeback.

“Our win was based on our strong defence. All in all, I am content with the whole team. I am particularly happy that more than 50 fans travelled here to support us,” said Göppingen coach Rolf Brack.

Koper-Goppingen_565

GROUP D
Wacker Thun (SUI) vs Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc Handball (FRA) 25:29 (12:15)

After opening their group phase campaign with a 30:30 draw at home against Fraikin BM. Granollers, Chambery recorded their first win when they visited EHF Cup Group Phase debutants Wacker Thun.

Wacker Thun were leading 8:3 after 11 minutes, but as the home team did not score during the following 10, Chambery came back to 8:8 with five goals in succession.

With five minutes left in the first half, the visitors claimed the upper hand for the first time since 1:0, as Johannes Marescot made it 12:11. At half-time, Chambery had increased their lead to three goals.

In the second half, Thun had ongoing trouble with Chambery’s variation in defensive formations, and the visitors pulled ahead by six goals, at 24:18 and 25:19.

A 5-1 defensive system enabled Wacker to decrease the gap, but they could never come closer than three goals – and there was never really any doubt that the French side would take the win.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg

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