|26.02.2017, 20:50||◄ last page|
GROUP B REVIEW: Defending champions Kielce end series of defeats in MOTW against Szeged and restart their chase of Vardar
Aguinagalde shines to bring Kielce back on track in the MOTW
They had lost their previous group matches at Mannheim and Celje, but on Sunday Vive Tauron Kielce struck back. Thanks to a 28:24 win against Szeged, the Polish champions could still finish top of their group if Vardar falter.
MOTW: KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN) 28:24 (13:14)
The answer to the question as to which of group B's top teams would finally end their series of defeats became clear after 45 mostly equal minutes. Defending VELUX EHF Champions League champions Kielce took the crucial victory in the Match of the Week and remain in the race for the top position and straight qualification for the quarter-finals.
The result means defeated Szeged can no longer finish on top of the group, although they remain in with a mathematical chance of ending the group phase second.
Kielce - boosted by eight goals from their Spanish line player Julen Aguinagalde - remain in third position, but reduced the gap to leader Vardar to two points and are only separated from Rhein Neckar Löwen by a single point.
The first half was fully equal with changing leads. Neither side could open a gap bigger than two goals. After a strong Kielce start, Szeged kept up, and took their first lead at 11:10 in minute 20, when Russian international Sergey Garbok hammered in one of his six strikes.
At the break the score was 13:14 to the visitors. Szeged’s advance lasted until the 45th minute when Kielce levelled the score at 20:20 before stretching ahead to a 28:24 win with the last goal coming from a flying score from Krzysztof Lijewski.
Szeged’s goalkeeper Jose Manuel Sierra had a black day - especially against the eight goals from eight attempts of his former Ciudad Real team mate Aguinagalde. In contrast, a key to Kielce's success were the 13 saves from Slawomir Szmal and Filip Ivic.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / jh