MATCH REVIEW: Former German VELUX EHF FINAL4 participant Berlin beat Brest 22:20 in the third round opener of Men’s EHF Cup.
Only small cushion for Füchse
They bid for the final tournament of the EHF Cup, but they are close to elimination from the Group Phase of the competition already: Füchse Berlin had high hopes for the opener of the third Round of the EHF Cup, but as expected Meshkov Brest were a high hurdle.
Men’s EHF Cup, Round 3:
Füchse Berlin (GER) vs. Meshkov Brest (BLR) 22:20 (8:10)
It was no handball deli, but it was a pure fight full of tension: Belarusian side Meshkov Brest stood highly strong in the Max-Schmeling-Arena in the German capital and were even close to win, which would have meant already opening the gate to the Group Phase before the second leg on 30 November in Belarus.
In the initial stages both teams had enormous problems in scoring. But when they had woken up a little, Füchse Berlin forged ahead to 8:5. One thought that this would be the beginning of a better period, was completely wrong. The 2012 VELUX EHF FINAL4 participant missed high class chances against an improving Brest defence.
Also in attack, Meshkov now were the clearly better team, scoring five straight goals for the surprising halftime lead (10:8), attended by 3712 spectators. Without their goalkeeper Petr Stochl, the Berlin backlog would have been even bigger.
But coach Dagur Sigurdsson found the right word in the dressing room. Füchse played more concentrated and passionate and turned the match again. At the score of 19:14 the deal seemed to be sealed, but then Füchse caused a huge number of technical mistakes against a strongly fighting Belarusian runners-up, who were limited in technical means, but never gave up.
And in the final minutes it was goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter, who prevented the host from a draw or even a defeat. But a two goals distance is not what Berlin had hoped for.
Top scorers were Konstantin Igropoulo (Berlin) and Robert Markotic (Brest) by six goals each.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / br
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