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08.09.2015, 10:40
European trio march on to the Super Globe semis
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ROUND REVIEW: Barcelona will face Berlin for a spot in the final, while Veszprem duel with Sydney
 

European trio march on to the Super Globe semis

The 2015 VELUX EHF Champions League champions face the 2015 EHF Cup winners in the semi-final of the IHF Super Globe in Qatar, but neither FC Barcelona Lassa nor Füchse Berlin had it easy in the intercontinental quarter-finals in Duhail.

VELUX EHF Champions League finalist MVM Veszprem even had bigger problems with the Brazilian team in the desert heat. The first ever Hungarian team at the IHF Super Globe will face Sydney in the semi-final.

The Australian university team coached by German Philipp Enders and filled with a huge number of European students - caused the major surprise of the first day at the Super Globe, beating host Al-Sadd sensationally 21:20. It was their first ever win in their 19 matches over six appearances at the tournament.

“To participate in the IHF Super Globe is a perfect chance for us to see where we currently stand and what still needs to be done.” Like Barcelona’s coach Xavi Pascual his colleagues Carlos Antonio Ortega (Veszprem) and Erlingur Richardsson (Berlin) see the intercontinental tournament as one of the last tests before the international season throws off.

In terms of results, the European trio fulfilled their expectations with all three of them beating their African or Pan-American opponents in the quarter-finals.

Among the two Champions League finalists the focus was on newcomers: Former Kiel left back Filip Jicha had his first international appearance for Barcelona (and scored twice in the 20:16 against Egyptian side Al-Ahly), while his former team mate Aron Palmarsson was key to Veszprem’s hard-earned 27:24 win against Taubate by scoring five goals, not forgetting right back Christian Zeitz and line player Andreas Nilsson, former Super Globe participants with Kiel and Hamburg.

Berlin took the profit of an exceptional performance of their Serbian sniper Petar Nenadic, who netted in ten times for a 27:24 win against African club champions Club Africain (Tunisia).

But all three matches were unexpectedly close: up until the 53rd minute the score was 24:23 in Veszprem’s favour, the Egyptians were neck and neck with the top European side, before a three quick goals by Palmarsson, Zeitz and Peter Gulyas secured them their semi-final berth. Another key to their success was goalkeeper Roland Mikler.

Two straight saves by goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter in crunch time prevented Berlin from a nasty surprise as the score read 25:24 for the EHF Cup winners. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are proud to be in the semi-final of this event. We are here to test our team - and what better opportunity you can get than facing the reigning (VELUX EHF) Champions League champions,” said Füchse manager Bob Hanning prior to the semi-final against Barcelona.

The Catalans were weak in attack, but strong in goalkeeping (11 saves by Qatari international Danijel Saric) and defence. After a six-goal advantage, the lead melted to two (16:14), but in the final 17 minutes, Barcelona only allowed two more Al-Ahly goals to slip in.

Quarter-finals:
MKB MVM Veszprem (HUN) vs Taubate (BRA) 27:24 (12:12)
Füchse Berlin (GER) - Club Africain (TUN) 27:24 (14:12)
FC Barcelona Lassa (ESP) vs Al-Ahly (EGY) 20:16 (12:8)
Al-Sadd (QAT) vs Sydney (AUS) 20:21 (10:9)
Tuesday, 8 September (all times are local):

Placement round 5/8:
14:00: Club Africain vs Al-Ahly
16:00: Taubate vs Al-Sadd

Semi-finals:
18:00: Füchse Berlin vs FC Barcelona Lassa
20:00: MVM Veszprem vs Sydney

Thursday, 10 September:
14:00: Placement match 7/8
16:00: Placement match 5/6
18:00 Bronze medal match
20:00 Final

Live stream of the IHF Super Globe:
http://shoof.alkass.net/shoof/live/live_2.php

Live ticker of the IHF Super Globe:
www.ihf.info


TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc
 
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