Bjerringbro grab last play-off spot as Presov bow out
In a much-anticipated match in Denmark, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg advanced to the VELUX EHf Champions League Group Phase Knockout after a narrow win against Sporting CP (29:28), as Tatran Presov were eliminated in the process.
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg advance in first place, Sporting CP in second place in Group C
Tatran Presov are out as they needed Sporting to win in Denmark
Sporting reached the knockout, for the first time, already last week
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) v Sporting CP (POR) 29:28 (16:16)
It took almost the entire match for the hosts to secure their place in the play-off round and crash the hopes of Tatran Presov, who were waiting for the outcome in front of the TV screens.
There is a small gap between success and failure, but in Group C it was literally a matter of two goals. Sporting CP had already secured their play-off spot before travelling to Silkeborg, but a win for Hugo Canela’s men would have secured them first place.
Sporting CP were on the front foot in the first half, and at one stage they had a five-goal advantage, but the hosts always found an answer.
The second half was much closer throughout and small details in the match decided the whole group phase destiny. Nikolaj Nielsen top scored with seven goals, but it was Nikolaj Markussen who scored the winning goal for the home side in the dying minutes of the game. The fantastic atmosphere and the burst of joy at the end only added to the glory for the hosts.
For Sporting, it was their usual key players firing in goals – Carlos Ruesga in the back court, along with Ivan Nikcevic and Fabio Rocha from the wings. Luis Frade also made a good impact as the line player. All scored five goals each.
It was a good quality match that showed what a tough fight it is for every point in this competition, even if you have secured a play-off berth. It is all about fair play and pride of playing in the most prestigious club competition.
Sporting's coach Hugo Canela was full of praise for today's victors, "Congratulations to Silkeborg with the win and the passage to the next round. I think it is well deserved – they are a really good team and played a good match. I am really happy about what my team did here today. I think we were really in to the game; we really wanted to win and we really wanted to take the first place. But in the details we missed the little things."
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen, coach of Bjerringbro-Silkeborg was adament the best two teams are progressing from the group, "Lisbon is a fantastic team. They have a lot of interesting players, a lot of physique. I think it is well deserved that Sporting CP and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg is now proceeding for the playoffs. We look very much forward to the next round, but now we just want to celebrate and be happy."
Author: Tomas Cuncik / jw