|01.10.2016, 18:50||◄ last page|
GROUP C REVIEW: La Rioja beat Montpellier 31:30 to move to the top of Group C, while Presov jumped off the bottom, after overcoming Metalurg Skopje 27:22 in a great comeback.
La Rioja claims top spot, Presov win first match
After Saturday's set of matches, Group C has a new leader. La Rioja beat Montpellier to move on top, while Presov jumped off the bottom of the group, after overcoming Metalurg Skopje in a great comeback.
Presov may have scored the first goal through Jakub Hrstka, but then they were hammered by the visitors with goals coming through one after another. When Nemanja Mladenovic scored his second of the game and made it 9:2 to HC Metalurg in the 14th minute, things looked more than alarming for the hosts, but the Macedonians could only score a further three until half-time as Presov’s nine saw a drama back on the cards.
As Presov improved in attack, they also managed to improve their defensive performance supported by the reliable Ukrainian duo in goal – Vadym Brazhnyk and Igor Chupryna – as they allowed the Macedonians little since their 9:2 lead.
In a great advert for attacking handball play, Jakub Hrstka scored seven goals from the wing for Presov who appeared to learn their lesson after losing against Montpellier last week and improved the areas they needed most.
La Rioja (ESP) vs Montpellier HB (FRA) 30:29 (15:12)
Naturhouse La Rioja snatched a very important win today in Palacio de los deportes de la Rioja, defeating the French favourites, Montpellier, with a score of 30:29. This was their first-ever head-to-head European encounter and La Rioja moved to the top of the table with two points.
New signing impact
Mohamed Sanad joined La Rioja in September from the Hungarian club, Sport 36 Komlo and he is already playing a vital role. After four goals in Chekhov, the 25-year-old left winger netted seven times in today´s clash against Montpellier.
On the other side, Michael Guigou, the only 2003 Champions League winner in the current Montpellier squad, proved once again the value he brings to his team with seven goals as the joint top scorer.
Drama of best two
Inarguably La Rioja and Montpellier are two heavy favourites to advance to the next round. They proved it today with spectacular handball, many goals and some great saves from both sides.
In the 40th minute, Michael Guigou equalized after long lead for La Rioja. Jonas Truchanovicius gave Montpellier the lead a minute later, but Jota Gonzalez immediately reacted. Their time out helped, as La Rioja soon took the lead back and held onto to it until the very end, despite Montpellier attempt to keep the match dramatic.
La Rioja have out-ran their opponents on fast-break goals (8:4) to build their crucial lead. Quick counter attacks were always a strong weapon of La Rioja, while demonstrating very dynamic, fast-moving handball in front of their own fans.
Aguinagalde Aquizu provided strong support in goal, with Richard Kappeling coming in at the end to save last second effort of Montpellier. Luis Jimenez was on fire from the back court with his powerful left handed strikes.
TEXT: Tomas Cuncik/amc/tm