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23.09.2017, 19:30
Magic Mate turns the tide
«Go back »Print Version


GROUP B REVIEW: Veszprém leave Flensburg behind after trailing by four goals 13 minutes before the end of their Round 2 encounter.
 

Magic Mate turns the tide

Telekom Veszprém extended their VELUX EHF Champions League winning streak against SG Flensburg-Handewitt on Saturday evening, but were lucky to do so. Nine goals from centre back Mate Lekai and a great comeback in the last 13 minutes, after being down 19:23, made coach Ljubomir Vranjes a happy winner against his former club in Round 2.

“Flensburg had a really good match today, it was not a surprise,” said Laszlo Nagy after the match. “Mattias Andersson was amazing. Luckily, at the end we could score, we had some goals. We got the two points for this win, the same as we would when the difference is 10 goals.”

Thanks to their second win, Veszprém stay on top of Group B with an unbeaten record.

• Flensburg have waited for a victory at Veszprém since 2001, and continue to do so after the Hungarian side record a one-goal win in Round 2
• 19 saves from goalkeeper Mattias Andersson are not enough for the German team to upset their hosts
• Mate Lekai (9) and Laszlo Nagy (8) score 17 of the victors’ 28 goals


GROUP B
Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) 28:27 (15:14)

After an easy-going 4:1 advantage early in the game, Veszprém could not cast off their coach’s former team. The goalkeepers – Mirko Alilovic for the hosts and Andersson for Flensburg – were the key figures in the first half, during which Flensburg never managed to pull ahead.

But, despite five goals from playmaker Mate Lekai, the home team still felt their opponent’s breath on their necks when the half-time buzzer sounded (15:14).

Outstanding Andersson slows the hosts

After the break, Andersson started his solo show with some incredible saves and great cooperation with the highly movable defence. Flensburg profited from Andersson’s performance and the high number of turnovers, quieting the arena goal by goal.

In minute 43, the distance stood at four goals for the first time, at 22:18 in favour of the German team.

The host were shocked and the Champions League 2014 winners seemed on their way to a win – but then, the rollercoaster changed direction again.

Lekai and Nagy secure the win

Within seven minutes, Vranjes’ new squad turned a score of 19:23 into a 25:24 lead. Lekai, who had not scored in the first 20 minutes of the second half, was on fire again.

Veszprem-Flensburg_Lekai.Sulic_565

Who else but the top scorers, Lekai (now on an overall 18 goals after two Champions League 2017/18 matches) and Nagy, could score the final two goals for Veszprém?

Following their goals, Lasse Svan missed the last chance for Flensburg and for the third time in the last seven matches, the Hungarian record champions beat SG by a one-goal margin.

Veszprém remain unbeaten by German teams on home ground since April 2013, when Kiel won the quarter-final 29:28.

“No one can expect to win in this arena. It is hard to get the two points in Veszprém, but we had a chance,” said Flensburg coach Maik Machulla.


TEXT: Bjorn Pazen / cg
 
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