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17.10.2015, 18:50
Veszprém come out on top
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GROUP A REVIEW: Saturday’s clash between this year's VELUX EHF FINAL4 participants, MVM Veszprém and THW Kiel, ended the same way it did in May
 

Veszprém come out on top

Incredible goalkeepers, extraordinary tension until the final buzzer and an extremely hard-earned home win for Veszprém – these were the ingredients for VELUX EHF Champions League Group A’s top match on Saturday. 

For Kiel it was the season’s second away loss following the opening defeat at Zagreb, while the Hungarian side remain unbeaten on top of the table with nine points. This loss was especially bitter for the German side, who missed their chance to avenge their semi-final defeat against Veszprém at this year's VELUX EHF FINAL4 in May.

The best players in the star-studded match were goalkeepers Niklas Landin (Kiel) and Mirko Alilovic (Veszprém), while unstoppable THW left back Domagoj Duvnjak was the top scorer with seven goals. 

“Kiel had the chance to win, as they played well. The key to success was that we managed to stop their counter attacks,” said MVM interim coach Xavier Sabate, who personally has an unbeaten record of four wins from four Champions League matches.

Sabate’s counterpart Alfred Gislason praised the level of the match: 

“It was a fantastic match with an even more fantastic atmosphere. We managed to come back several times, but in the end we made too many mistakes to have the chance to win.”

GROUP A
MVM Veszprém (HUN) vs THW Kiel (GER) 29:27 (17:15)

The first 30 minutes comprised two very different halves: initially Veszprém could not stop Kiel’s young left back Christian Dissinger, who scored all five of his goals before the break, while Landin backed his team with important saves. Kiel were more efficient in attack, while Veszprém were not as stable as usual in defence.

But after Kiel led 9:7 and had the chance to create a clearer advantage, things changed. Alilovic replaced Roland Mikler and Veszprém’s defence improved, but Kiel did not help themselves, causing too many turnovers and suspensions. 

Ilic_465

Peter Gulyas, who replaced injured Laszlo Nagy and Christian Zeitz at right back, took the responsibility in attack alongside fellow MVM top scorer for the match (five goals each), left back Momir Ilic. Netting his first goal in minute 25, the top scorer of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 VELUX EHF Champions League led his team to their first two goal advance at 15:13 – a gap which lasted until the break.

At the start of the second half, Veszprém missed the chance to forge ahead to a four-goal margin and both sides recorded a high number of mistakes trying to play full speed in attack. 

Then Ilic stepped up his game. Taking Veszprém ahead 22:19, he forced Gislason to call a timeout in minute 46. His players responded, especially Duvnjak, who helped bring the score to 25:24 with his incredible solo performance.

Still the lead changed constantly in the final stages. 

As the 60th minute began, Ilic was sent off with a red card, Duvnjak closed the gap to 28:27 and Sabate took his final timeout. 

Veszprém’s Cristian Ugalde scored the winners’ strike 13 seconds before the end and even injured Zeitz could celebrate: "In the middle of the second half I became really nervous, but in the end we won," he said.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cg / ts
 
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