Sporting finish group phase with victory over Metalurg
With almost everything decided in Group D, Sporting were able to defend fourth place on home court and beat Metalurg 31:27.
With this victory, the Portuguese champions finished their journey in European top-flight competition after many years away.
- Sporting's Carlos Ruesga was top scorer with seven goals
- Metalurg dominated the first half, but Sporting’s defence and efficiency was key in the second
Sporting CP (POR) vs HC Metalurg (MKD) 31:27 (12:15)
It was the last game of the VELUX EHF Champions League’s Group Phase for both teams, and Metalurg did not make it easy for the Portuguese team to give a final moment of joy to their fans.
Metalurg started more efficient and were able to keep a comfortable advantage in the first few minutes of the game. Hugo Canela’s team could not find the goal at first, but after more than eight minutes, Carlos Carneiro reduced Metalurg's advantage and equaled the game for the first time (6:6) with 17 minutes played.
In the last few minutes of the first half, Metalurg got the advantage again, and ended the first half with a 12:15 lead.
Sporting started the second half by missing some important shots, and Metalurg took advantage of these errors to keep the lead in the game. But it didn’t take long for Sporting to turn things around.
Sporting improved their defense, increased the pace of the game, and were more efficient in attack in the last ten minutes. Important goals by Carlos Ruesga, Frankis Carol and Pedro Portela gave the Portuguese team an important lead, and ultimately the victory in their last VELUX EHF Champions League game of the season.
Carlos Ruesga was Sporting’s top scorer with seven goals. For Metalurg, Vanja Ilic dominated with six goals and a shot efficiency of 100%.
Author: Filipa Sousa/kc