Group Phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League is finished, now all Last 16 participants focus on the draw on Tuesday.
Chambéry, Metalurg and Füchse win last matches
After all final decisions on Last 16 participants and group winners of the VELUX EHF Champions League had been taken already on Saturday, the three final encounters of Groups C and D on Sunday – the matches 118-120 in the Group Phase – did not have a big relevance.
Chambéry celebrated their second victory, Metalurg proved the best defence of the competition and Füchse Berlin kept their clean sweep on home ground.
HC Metalurg Skopje (MKD) vs. Bjerringbro Silkeborg (DEN) 32:18 (18:14)
Metalurg had been confirmed as second ranked team in this group on Saturday after the home defeat of Gorenje Velenje against group winners Vive Targi Kielce already - so the only goal of the Macedonians was to keep their number 1 position in the “best defence” ranking like in the Group Phase of the 2011/12 season. For Bjerringbro the match did not have any significance too as they had secured the fourth spot for the Last 16 already last weekend.
And while Metalurg finished with the best defence and a more than clear victory, the Danes left highly disappointed worrying about their performance after the break.
After a quite equal first half, in which Metalurg already showed the greater will to win, the Macedonian club caused a “storm”. Goalkeeper Darko Stanić played in a world-class form, his defence profited from his saves and in attack Metalurg managed to score a series of easy goals. Bjerringbro only scored four times after the break and only once in the first 20 minutes of the second half, so Metalurg had an easy-going afternoon. Their top scorer was Miladin Kozlina with seven goals, Mojsovski and Vugrinec added six each to the clear victory.
Chambéry Savoie (FRA) vs. HC St. Petersburg (RUS) 33:19 (19:8)
Chambéry Savoie handed over a final present for their fans: By winning the second straight home match, the French runners-up finished by four points on the fifth rank of this group, leaving St. Petersburg behind. The only victory of the Russians remained the 31:27 in the first leg against Chambéry.
Before the direct duel both teams had been eliminated from the Last 16 already, and as Chekhovskie Medvedi still represent Russia in the knock-out stage of the VELUX EHF Champions League, no French team is competing anymore in the flagship club competition, after Montpellier missed the Last 16 on Saturday too.
The deal had already been sealed after 30 minutes, when the gap was eleven goals – Chambéry even managed to extend it to 14.
Füchse Berlin (GER) vs. Pick Szeged (HUN) 29:24 (15:10)
Füchse Berlin have finished the Group Phase with a 100 per cent clean record on home ground after their fifth victory. But as Berlin celebrated on Sunday, Szeged could celebrate already on Saturday. After RK Zagreb had beaten Kadetten Schaffhausen, the Hungarian runners-up had clinched their berth for the Last 16 without throwing any ball.
So the match did no have real significance as also the second rank of Berlin had been confirmed before. Despite this little meaning, both teams gave full power and excited the spectators by high speed and spectacular goals.
Again goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter (pictured) was the key for the Füchse success with 18 saves. Top scorers were František Šulc, who scored seven times for the Hungarians, and Johannes Sellin with six goals for Berlin. Youngster Paul Drux (18) played his first ever VELUX EHF Champions League match for the German outfit.
“Both teams and the spectators had their fun, as both could play without any pressure,” Füchse player Markus Richwien said to Eurosport after the match.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / br
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