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30.09.2018, 21:12
Alex Dujshebaev-led Kielce inflict more pain on Montpellier
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GROUP A REVIEW: Title-holders Montpellier crashed to their third consecutive loss - 29:26 - after Kielce led from start to finish
 

Alex Dujshebaev-led Kielce inflict more pain on Montpellier

A 10-goal masterpiece from Alex Dujshebaev saw Kielce take an early lead and never look back, to earn their second win of the season, 29:26, against 2017/18 champions Montpellier. The French side are finding their title-defending season tough to chew, after they recorded their third defeat in a row, with progressing to the next phase starting to look a bit of a challenge.

  • Kielce are now tied with HC Meshkov Brest, Barça Lassa and Rhein-Neckar Löwen for second place in group A with four points
  • Alex Dujshebaev is the new top goalscorer of the competition, with 10 goals
  • The Polish side will host IFK Kristianstad next week, while Montpellier travel to Barça

GROUP A

Montpellier HB (FRA) vs PGE Vive Kielce (POL) 26:29 (14:16)

The two losses recorded in the first two matches of this VELUX EHF Champions League season saw coach Patrice Canayer resort to out-of-the-box measures against Kielce earlier this evening, but the omission of star Diego Simonet, the MVP from last year’s VELUX EHF FINAL 4, from the squad was not in Canayer's plans – with the Argentinian’s hamstring injury a big blow for the 57-year old coach.

Without Jonas Truchanovicius and veteran Michael Guigou as well, the French side looked seriously undermanned and it was there to be seen at the start of the game, when Kielce jumped to a 9:5 lead as the Montpellier defence really struggled to contain the Polish offensive display.

In flawless form, Alex Dujshebaev was scoring for fun, bagging six goals in the first half for Kielce, while Luka Cindric showed flashes of his form before his injury as the Polish side kept their lead until the break, 16:14.

A 3:0 run to throw off the second half saw Kielce take a 20:16 lead, that proved to be unassailable in the long run. While Melvyn Richardson scored six goals for Montpellier, it was not enough, as the French side never tied the game or took the lead.

As Dujshebaev scored 10 goals for Kielce, the Polish side recorded their second win of the season, 29:26, and they will try for third, as they prepare to host Kristianstad next week.

"I’m very disappointed with the result," said Montpellier coach Patrice Canayer. "We’re all concerned that we have had three defeats in the first three games, it hurts our ego. I was worried after 12 minutes tonight as we showed no aggression nor mobility, but after that we produced a better performance. We’re obviously going through a difficult period where we are lacking confidence, but the spirit shown and our play makes me think that the future will be more optimistic and brighter."

His opposite number, handball legend Talant Dujshebaev was realistic in the victory. "I’m very happy with this win against a very good team," said the Kielce coach. "Even if we had quite a bit of luck tonight and our goalkeeper saved us on several occasions, it’s difficult to play here, against the reigning European champions, one of the best teams in Europe with some good young players. Diego Simonet, Jonas Truchanovicus and Michaël Guigou were missing, and that certainly helped us."


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu/amc
 
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