|03.09.2016, 15:40||◄ last page|
GROUP 1 REVIEW: It wasn't an easy afternoon at times for the two more experienced sides as the Slovenian and Slovakian sides edge their ties in VELUX EHF Champions League Qualification Group 1
Favourites make deciding match in Presov
RK Gorenje Velenje opened the VELUX EHF Champions League Qualification Group 1 with a win over debutants from Finland Riihimäki Cocks. The Slovenian side will play the TATRAN Presov in the decider on Sunday at 16:15 local time.
• Cocks debut in the VELUX EHF Champions League
RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs Cocks (FIN) 28:25 (16:14)
Bachko pulled it level (19:19) with the clock on 37 minutes, but Velenje always had Mitrovic to count on. Cocks were able to keep up with the Wasps until the 47th minute. Then they had an eight-minute dry spell, which saw the Slovenian runners-up decide the tie with plus three goals in their favour.
Gintaras Savukynas, coach of Riihimaki Cocks spoke after the game of their fighting spirit and some missed chances: “It was an equal game today. Unfortunately, when it was 23:22 for Gorenje, we missed our chance and Slovenians used this situation and increased their lead. When we were four goals down, Gorenje were confident and controlled the game until the end. In general, I am very happy about the team spirit and the way we fought. I hope we will maintain this level for the rest of season.”
TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs Red Boys Differdange (LUX) 38:32 (19:17)
It took six minutes for Presov to take the lead for the first time. In the 21st minute Stefan Jankovic, a new singing from Banja Luka, made it 15:9 for hosts, but things were not that easy. Yann Hoffmann kept the score tight at the end of first half, but Oliver Rabek from the back court and Jakub Hrstka on counter attacks stole the show for the hosts after the break.
Jakub Hrstka, was the biggest surprise in Presov's squad. Last season he scored 40 goals in Champions League Group Phase, today he showed his ability to score on a regular basis and in crucial moments to keep Presov ahead; Oliver Rabek added same number (nine goals). Their performance tomorrow against RK Gorenje Velenje will be key.
After the match the coach of Red Boys Differdange Goran Vukcevic said: “It was really great experience for us to play against Tatran because they play in the Champions League often. We are quite satisfied with the result because a six-goal loss is not too much. Their fast breaks and defence was the main problem for us today. In the last 10 minutes we played with players from bench because tomorrow we have an important game for third place that could secure us participation in the 3rd round of qualification for the EHF Cup. This is our goal now!”
Rastislav Trtik (coach of Presov), on the other hand, felt they "played quite a good game today. We have some health issues in the squad at the moment so it was good we could make up for them; we are looking forward to the final match tomorrow.”
TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / bc