Elverum snatch win with Pettersen buzzer-beater
Elverum put themselves back in contention for a top two spot in VELUX EHF Champions League Group D after earning two points in Switzerland under the most thrilling of circumstances.
Nine goals from Ivan Mosic helped Abanaca Ademar Leon blow the group wide open with a three-goal win over Orlen Wisla Plock.
- Simen Pettersen top scored for Elverum with six goals, including the match-winner in the final second
- Second consecutive win for the Norwegian side, while Thun’s wait for a win extends to 14 matches
- Ivan Mosic’s nine goals proves the difference as Leon end Plock’s perfect record
- The top four sides in Group D are now separated by just two points
GROUP D: Wacker Thun (SUI) vs Elverum Handball (NOR) 29:30 (13:16)
After securing a draw with Cocks in their previous home encounter, Thun had their sights set on a first victory in Europe’s top flight.
The Swiss side began with intent, taking a pair of early leads, but Elverum soon found their rhythm and built a lead, thanks mainly to Magnus Frederiksen and Tine Poklar.
Their lead extended to 12:7 halfway through the first half and Wacker were in danger of letting the game slip away from them. However, the hosts battles back and stayed in touch with a three-goal deficit at the break.
Wacker were reinvigorated in the second half and could smell a comeback. Ron Delhees and Nicolas Suter played a big part as Thun chipped away at the lead, before finally drawing level with just over three minutes to play.
When Jonas Dähler scored an equaliser with four seconds left on the clock, Thun looked set to secure their second draw of the season, but Elverum executed their final attack perfectly, giving Simen Pettersen a shot from 12 metres out, which he fired past Flavio Wick to snatch a victory for Elverum, their second win in a row, while Thun’s are still in search of their first win in Europe’s elite club competition.
Martin Rubin, head coach of Wacker Thun, was unhappy with the team’s first half performance but encouraged by their second half comeback.
“In the beginning our defence did very badly. In the second half we fought well, but we didn't play smart enough. In the end we were a bit unlucky – unfortunately it's not the first time in this season we missed a bit of luck in the end of a match. But I have to say that Elverum didn't steal the two points from us.”
“I have to admit that we were lucky in the end,” added Elverum head coach Michael Apelgren. “We played well in the beginning of the match, but in the second half Wacker Thun played smart tactically and caused us some problems. In the end, the match could have ended in any way. But still I'm very proud of my team.”
Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP) vs Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 27:24 (15:9)
Leon have had mixed fortunes so far this season, but this home clash with group leaders Plock was a perfect opportunity to prove they are a force to be reckoned with.
The Spaniards wasted no time, storming into a four-goal lead in the opening quarter as the visitors struggled to deal with their first stern test of the season.
Ivan Mosic emerged as the hero of the opening 30 minutes for Leon, scoring six (from nine in total) as they took a healthy 15:9 lead into half-time.
Plock coach Xavi Sabate made the most of his half-time team talk and his men got to work on closing the gap immediately.
Renato Sulic was enjoying plenty of service on the line as his five goals helped the Polish side eventually draw level at 21:21.
However, Leon found their second wind in the final 10 minutes and were not to be denied victory, running out to a three-goal win and closing the gap on the group-leaders to a single point.
“We knew how to take advantage of the dynamics,” said Leon head coach Rafael Guijosa. “When they had their best shot we got stuck, but little by little we managed to grow.”
Sabate added: “It was a match of two halves. They were much better in the first half and although we improved in the second half they were better.”
Author: Chris O'Reilly