Danes clash Prešov, while Finals host beat Besiktas in the Men’s EHF Cup
Kolding and Nantes remain with a clear sweep
After on Saturday Rhein Neckar Löwen, SC Magdeburg and Cimos Koper had been the first teams to win their each second matches in the Group Phase of the EHF Cup, HBC Nantes and KIF Kolding followed this trio by clear wins in their respective matches.
KIF Kolding (DEN ) vs. TATRAN Prešov (SVK) 37:17 (17:8)
Obviously the wheat gets separated from the chuff very early in Group B. After Rhein Neckar Löwen outdistanced Zaporozhye on Saturday, KIF Kolding did the same with their Slovak opponent on Sunday. Like Löwen, the Danes are in lead by 4:0 points, before the two top teams from Denmark and Germany will face next Sunday in Kolding, as Zaporozhye will host Presov for their first points.
Kolding were dominant from the first to the last second against the Slovak champions though they have to replace their defence specialist Joachim Boldsen after a surgery. After quite equal 14 minutes, the Danes forged ahead to 8:5, then extending the gap by six straight goals from 10:7 to pre-decisive 16:7 right before the break. Especially in this period, Rasmus Jensen (top scorer by eight goals) and Kasper Irming were the keys for KIF.
And Kolding remained on high speed after the break, tearing Presov apart by their counter-attacks and getting inspired by the great saves of goalkeeper Kasper Hvidt. After only 40 minutes the advance was 15 goals for the first time at 25:10, eleven minutes later the biggest gap of the match was reached at 34:13.
Best Presov scorer was Dainis Kristopans with four goals.
HBC Nantes (FRA) vs. Besiktas JK (TUR) 31:24 (16:10)
Thanks to a brilliant goalkeeper Arnaud Siffert, HBC Nantes easily took two expected points against the Turkish champions. His in total 18 saves stopped Besiktas and enabled the French team to take control very early. Right at the break the distance was already six goals, and after the match had been decided in the middle of the second half, Besiktas could reduce to finally seven goals – but were completely chanceless. Nyateu o’Brien was the best scorer for Nantes by seven goals, Victor Ladyko scored six times for Besiktas.
Next Sunday Nantes have the home right again – and can prove their strength against Magdeburg in the top duel of this group. In their third straight away match, Besiktas travel to Bacau.
In Group A Cimos Koper (SLO) top the table by four points ahead the defending champions of the “old” EHF Cup, Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) and the Spaniards of Naturhouse La Rioja. Eskilstuna Guif (SWE) still wait for their first point. The next Round on 23/24 February will bring the duels Koper vs. Göppingen and La Rioja vs. Guif.
Everything is open in Group C, where Tvis Holstebro (DEN) took a surprising away victory at Plock (POL) and lead the ranking together with Maribor Branik (SLO) one point ahead of Plock. Elverum (NOR) are bottom ranked with zero points on their account and will host the Danes in the Scandinavian of Round 3, while Plock travel to Slovenia.
TEXT: Björn Pazen
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