GROUP A REVIEW: German title holders Thüringer HC beat Metz 28:25 on the home court to take two points into the EHF Champions League Main Round.
Thüringer HC take two points into main round
Thüringer HC produced a fine performance on home court which resulted in a well-deserved 28:25 win against French rivals Metz Handball, meaning that the German side will take two points into the competition’s main round.
• Manon Houette and Lydia Jakubisova stand out for Thüringer HC
• Home side leads from midway through first half
• Metz take four points into main round, Buducnost have six
Thüringer HC (GER) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 28:25 (15:11)
Thüringer HC came up with their best performance of the European cup season to make sure they took something from the group matches into the main round, recording an impressive home victory against more fancied Metz Handball.
THC will therefore head into the second phase of Europe’s premier club competition with two points, while Metz have four and group winners Buducnost collected six.
Jakubisova finds her rhythm
Having scored only five goals in the previous five group matches, Slovakian wing Jakubisova amassed as many against Metz as Thüringer dictated a fast pace from start to finish.
Metz enjoyed a solitary 7:6 lead in the early stages, but the home side hit back with four unanswered goals as Jakubisova and Anika Niederwieser provided the first-half firepower for the home team.
They scored six of the home team’s opening nine goals and, with Dinah Eckerle also in good form between the posts, THC were able to pull away to a 15:11 half-time lead.
Resilient Thüringer repel Metz
The visitors, who arrived in Germany on the back of last weekend’s impressive 28:25 home win over Buducnost, fought hard to turn the tide in the second half but were held at bay by a determined and resilient home side roared on by a fervent crowd.
The best Metz could do was slash the deficit to two goals (17:19) but each time they scored, the home side replied as French wing Houette took over as the leading scorer.
With Jakubisova out after three two-minute suspensions, Houette netted crunch goals and the support cast did a splendid job as the home team finished with 10 different scorers.
Houette led THC’s charge with six goals, while Jakubisova scored five and Niederwieser chipped in with four. Slovenian Ana Gros topped the scoring chart for Metz with six goals.
TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cg