|15.10.2016, 18:40||◄ last page|
GROUP C REVIEW: Elverum are gathering momentum with their second straight win. Metalurg pull off their best performance yet against the top team of the group. And Montpellier keep the points at home.
La Rioja suffer 1st defeat, Elverum join them on top
Elverum took two precious points (27:25) from Tatran Presov, while Metalurg pulled off a huge performance edging La Rioja 24:23. Montpellier prevailed against Chekhov 26:22 to ease the pressure from their shoulders.
It was a close thrilling battle for points in Eastern Slovakia. Elverum confirmed their good form, and after a close deserved the 25:27 win; they are on five points climbing up the table.
Tamas Ivancsik proves his great form in today‘s match in the first half as he was the main firepower for the visitors in Presov. His efficiency was incredible, scoring from the wings, from the seven metres throw as well as after deadly counter attacks. Despite the drop-off in second half, his first half contribution was significant.
Decisive 10 minutes
Vadym Brazhnyk started into the second half once again in great style. After making several saves, he gave Presov lead in the 45th minute scored into an empty net. However, Presov were unable to hold on. After Viacheslav Sadovyi scored the 25th home goal in the 51st minute, Presov could not hold on. Elverum were more consistent and their team performance in the final minutes paid off. Jakub Hrstka, with eight goals best scorer of the match, but was the anti-hero too – missing a penatly throw in the 59th minute to dramatise the match.
Few would have tipped the Norwegian champions to fight for the top two spots in the group, but after playing four of the five teams in the group, Elverum have proven they can win against any team. Their typical dynamic Scandinavian handball is successful. Great individuals in likes of Morten Nergaard in goal, Tamas Ivancsik on the wing and masterclass of Michael Apelgren are all supported by strong team spirit on the bench; this makes the inhabitants of small handball town very proud.
Rastislav Trtik, coach of TATRAN Presov stated after the match: “They were luckier in the final phase of the game. Unfortunately, we missed a lot of chances to score easy empty-net goals. It was one of the factors which decided the game. We did not have a good day today. We did not play well. We could have won the match, but I have to admit Elverum were better today.”
Metalurg Skopje (MKD) vs La Rioja (ESP) 24:23 (11:9)
The young team of Lino Cervar surprised the leaders of the group from Logrono with a 24:23 win at home after a magnificent display. For La Rioja defeat in Skopje is the first in this campaign.
Despite the absence of the left back Nemanja Mladenovic, two other Serbians were the main threat from Metalurg. Nemanja Obradovic and Milos Dragas scored seven each; two minutes from time, Dragas scoring the winning goal with a powerful throw from the distance.
Darko Arsic will be the main talking point after today's match in Skopje. He was perfect throughout the match stopping the biggest stars of the opposition. In the last minute of the match, he saved Langaro's back court effort, followed up by saving of the match from the ever-counter-attacking Angel Perez.
La Rioja were able to come back in the second half with improved defence and efficient back court display by Langaro and Cacheda, but Jota Gonzalez's men were left frustrated by the fighting spirit of the opposition. Darko Arsic proved to be hard nut to crack, yet La Rioja wasted far too many good opportunities to decide the match in their favour. They had it all in their own hands.
Lino Cervar coach of Metalurg commented: "I am very happy with the victory. I usually do not pick out players, but today I must say that Darko Arsic was the main factor in our victory. We have many problems, we lost two players to injury that are very importatnt for us (Marcec, Mladenovic), but with a big heart and a great crowd we managed to win."
Montpellier HB (FRA) vs Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) 26:22 (12:9)
The French favourites prevailed against the ambitious Chekhovskie Medvedi despite a bad start into the match, and are now level on four points with the Russian team.
The home side were under pressure to win the game after two earlier losses. Coach Patrice Canayer's men perhaps felt the pressure in the beginning of the match as the Bears looked more relaxed and goalkeeper Oleg Grams helped getting into a three-goal lead.
To score one goal in 11 minutes is not enough - especially not against a team like Montpellier.
Medvedi were outplayed toward the end of the first half. It happened after Canayer's time out at 5-8, where he ordered more an aggressive defence. The improved defensive display also helped out Vincent Gerard as the Chekhovskie backs were constantly under pressure.
Strong back court
Montpellier were inconsistent in their previous three games. Apart from the 15 minutes of the first half, the French team were able to raise their performance throughout the game.
The back court was strong with standout Jure Dolenec of Slovenia, who guided the French cup winners to an important win with eight goals.
Patrice Canayer, Montpellier coach: “Our main players took their responsibilities and the last two games have allowed us to put things in place and get back on a winning run.”
Vincent Gérard, Montpellier goalkeeper: “We defended well tonight, with a true fighting spirit. This gave us confidence.”
Vladimir Maximov, Chekhovskie coach: “I will be brief tonight - we played, we lost. We will analyse the video to see what happened.”
Oleg Grams, Chekhovskie goalkeeper: “We missed a lot of goals because the opposite defence and goalkeeper were excellent.”
TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / bc / ew