First ever points for Bjerringbro
After two rounds of the VELUX EHF Champions League five teams still have a clear record: Veszprém, Metalurg, Kielce, Barcelona and Kiel. The defending champions beat Sävehof clearly on Sunday, as well as their German neighbours Flensburg did at Niš against Partizan.
In contrast, Sunday was a black one for the French teams, as Chambéry and Montpellier lost their matches. The Chambéry defeat at Bjerringbro meant the first ever VELUX EHF Champions League points for the Danish participant.
Montpellier Agglomération HB (FRA) vs Reale Ademar León (ESP) 27:29 (13:15)
Without several players against whom the French justice is investigating, Montpellier lost a thriller against Leon – and still wait for their first victory in this VELUX EHF Champions League season. On the other hand after losing their opener at home against Hamburg León celebrated a surprising win, which was confirmed in the final minute.
New team captain Matthieu Greville was best Montpellier player again, but his goals and actions were not enough to finally take at least one point. One key to the defeat was the weak opening period, when León’s defence stood like a wall and punished every mistake of the hectic and nervous French team – the result was a 8:2 lead for the Spaniards.
But the host did not give up, despite León kept the lead until the middle of the second half. 21 minutes before the end Montpellier had the possibilities to turn the match completely at 22:20, but missed too many chances in this stage. So León equalized again – and two minutes before the end at the intermediate result of 27:27 a draw was expected – but then a double strike of Carlos Ruesga and Alvaro Cabanas secured the highly important victory for León, also sealed by the brilliant saves of the Ademar goalkeepers.
Partizan Beograd (SRB) vs. SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) 31:37 (15:17)
The fantastic atmosphere in the arena in Niš backed the host– but it was not enough for Partizan to get the internationally experienced German runners-up down to the floor. As expected Belgrade remained with zero points, as Flensburg took their first victory and caught-up to the leading duo Hamburg and Medvedi. All three clubs have three points on their account.
Like in their draw against Montpellier in their opener, Flensburg again scored 37 goals and proved their strength in attack – especially by left wing Anders Eggert, who hit the net 13 times. Best Partizan scorer was Bogdan Radivojević (8 goals).
Flensburg kept cold as ice in the lion’s den. After a close margin at the break, the Germans showed more powers and individual class than the hosts, the score was close until 26:29, before Flensburg decided the match at 34:29.
THW Kiel (GER) vs. Sävehof IK (SWE) 43:34 (25:15)
Easy autumn walk for the defending champions: The one-sided match against the Swedish champions was decided early by a ten goals margin at the break.
After winning at Madrid, Kiel remained with a clear record, as Sävehof remain with those two points gained on match day 1.
Top scorers were Marko Vujin, who netted nine times for THW, and Kristian Bliznac, scoring eight times for Sävehof.
Bjerringbro Silkeborg vs. Chambéry Savoie (FRA) 25:23 (14:15)
Both teams had lost their first match before the duel in Kjellerup and that was clear that both teams had a lot on the point. It was a thrilling match but it ended up happily for the hosts who got the first ever VELUX EHF Champions League victory after a 25:23 win.
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg led by 9:4 after 12 minutes thanks to their counter-attacks forcing Chambéry to their first time-out. The French runners-up equalized to 9:9 after five consecutive goals and from the moment it was a close game with constantly changing leads. In the start of the second half Chambery did well in the defensive after changing to 6-0 defence. They came in lead by 17:14 after four minutes but the host then improved.
Especially Jannick Green in Bjerringbro-Silkeborg’s goal did well and after 12 minutes of the second half the Danish club equalized to 18:18 and turned the game at 20:18. After the 20:20 both teams caused a lot of offensive faults, showing nerves due to the importance of the match.
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg seemed to be on the winner’s way after Benjamin Jacobsen scored for 24:21, but Chambery caught-up to 24:23, before Rasmus Lauge decided the game five seconds before the end, scoring the 25:23.
"I am pleased and happy. It is our first win in the VELUX EHF Champions League during last year and this year. It is good to have this win and I think we beat a good team," playmaker Lauge said.
"It was a tough game but we were not able to keep the lead when we were three goals up in the start of the second half. Bjerringbro-Silkeborg was better especially in defence, and came in lead at a decisive point which lead them to the win," Mario Cavalli, coach Chambery Savoie said.
"Our fast breaks made us believe that we could win. We found the power to turn the game around thanks to Rasmus Lauge and Jannick Green. Chambery only scored eight goals in second half and I think the defence was the reason why we turned the game around," Carsten Albrektsen, coach Bjerringbro-Silkeborg stated.
TEXT: Björn Pazen