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10.02.2013, 21:40
Madrid make it to Last 16
«Go back »Print Version


Mixed French emotions: Chambery take first victory after seven defeats, while Montpellier stumble in Leon

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Madrid make it to Last 16

Atlético Madrid are team number 12 to qualify for the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League after their close victory against Celje. Montpellier missed a huge step towards the knock-out stage and now are even below Leon after losing in Spain. On the other hand, Chambéry took their first ever victory in this season, while Barcelona were defeated for the first time – at Berlin.

Group A:

Reale Ademar León (ESP) vs. Montpelier MAHB (FRA) 30:28 (11:13)

After winning the first leg at France, Reale Ademar León repeated this success on home ground to be equal by five points with Montpellier now. In case both teams remain equal until the end, León are ahead because of winning the direct encounter clearly.

In their first match after Nikola Karabatic had left the club to Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier were close to an away victory until the final stages, but the fighting spirit of the brave Spaniards finally decided this highly tensioned match.

Thanks to their top scorer William Accambray (nine goals in the end) Montpellier were in lead at the break and even increased the gap to 18:15 in minute 43. But León never gave up and despite an injury of their best player Carlos Ruesga they managed to turn the match around in the last minutes. In a hectic final stage, the León defence and goalkeeping were simply better – and latest at the 28:26 95 seconds before the end, the match was decided.

Group B:

Atlético Madrid (ESP) vs. RK Pivovarna Laško Celje (SLO) 26:24 (12:9)

As expected, Atlético Madrid have clinched their berth for the Last 16, but the Spaniards did not expect that they have to climb such a high wall to gain their fourth victory in their eighth match. By eight points, Madrid are four points ahead of the trio Celje, Constanta and Sävehof and have won the direct encounter against the Slovenians and the Romanians.

Like in their encounters against Kiel, Celje showed a highly strong performance, especially by their new star Borut Mackovšek, who scored nine goals for the Slovenians.

After an equal start, the attacking performance of Celje decreased, while Madrid had found their pace to march away to 10:7 and 12:8. But even after the break, the guests did not give up and remained on eye level. Even a five goal margin at 20:15 was not enough for the Spaniards to decide the game early, as Celje returned and reduced to only goal at 24:26. Finally Luka Žvižej, who failed at a penalty spot, and Gašper Marguč missed two major chances to reduce to one goal – the deal was sealed. Now Celje have their fate in their hands next week against Constanta.

Best Madrid scorers were Joan Cañellas, Roberto Parrondo and Kiril Lazarov with five goals each.

Group C:

Chambéry Savoie (FRA) vs. Bjerringbro Silkeborg (DEN) 29:26 (14:12)

After seven straight defeats Chambéry showed a sign of life in the VELUX EHF Champions League – and buried the hopes of Bjerringbro to celebrate an early qualification for the Last 16. Due to this victory none of the 24 participating teams is on zero points anymore.

But still the Danes (remaining on six points) are in the clearly better position compared to the French team, which is equal by two points with St. Petersburg now. Bjerringbro only need one more point from the remaining two matches to be among the best 16 teams of this competition for the first time in history.

One of the Chambéry match winners was goalkeeper Cyril Dumoulin, who did not only show a brilliant performance, but saved a penalty shot 20 seconds before the end at the score of 28:26. Despite missing top players like Edin Bašić and Betrand Gille, the French team managed to control the match, though Bjerringbro came very close in the final stages of the match.

Top scorers were Olivier Marroux, Timothey Nguessan (both Chambéry) and Casper Ulrich Mortensen (Bjerringbro) with six goals each.

Group D:

Füchse Berlin (GER) vs. FC Barcelona Intersport (ESP) 31:30 (14:16)

Füchse Berlin are the first team in all competitions of this season to beat FC Barcelona Intersport. In the VELUX EHF Champions League the Germans won against the Catalans in a highly thrilling match 31:30 (14:16) and re-gained the second place in Group D below previously undefeated team from Barcelona.

The ehfTV.com Match of the Week was a real highlighter – and finally the 19 (!) saves of goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter were the key to success – especially the final one against Siarhei Rutenka seconds before the end, which secured the victory.

13.331 spectators in the sold-out O2 World saw a high-class clash. Barcelona had the clearly better start and could count on the goals of their Belarusian top star Siarhei Rutenka. Hitting the net four times in the opening stage, Rutenka was the reason for the clear 10:6 lead. But when Berlin changed their defence to a man-to-man defending against the five times VELUX EHF Champions League winner and goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter improved, they took the upper hand.

The Germans stopped the Catalan express, including their seven new world champions. Berlin scored three straight goals to 11:12, but causing some more mistakes allowed the seven times EHF Champions League winner to lead 16:14 at the break.

But Barcelona had lost their pace and rhythm in the dressing room. After only four minutes Pascual smashed his green card on the official’s table again, after his team caused four straight turnovers, inviting Füchse to four goals to be in lead 18:16 and aside having problems in defence.

Despite some important Šarić saves, Barcelona were not able to turn the match in the middle of the second half, in contrast: Thanks to Heinevetter Berlin kept the two distance until the 23:21, but Barca still did not surrender. Scoring three straight goals – twice after brilliant Rutenka passes to Víctor Tomás – the Catalans, who had changed the goalkeeper from Šarić to world champion Arpad Sterbik,  went in lead again at 24:23 – and Füchse coach Dagur Sigurdsson took his time-out.

And when left wing Ivan Ninčević (top scorer with six goals) hit the net for the fifth time, Berlin again were in lead at 27:26 eight minutes before the end and in top gear to march ahead to 30:28 and 31:29 with less than 90 seconds on the clock. But they had to shiver until the final whistle until the deal was sealed.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / br
 
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