ROUND REVIEW: Two time-outs changed the course of the top game in Group D between Constanta and Füchse Berlin.
Sometimes time-outs do pay off
TSV Hannover-Burgdorf got their first point in the group phase, as they drew 30:30 away against Reale Ademar Leon in Group A in a match, where the North German team was even closer to the win.
In spite of losing their second point in the group phase, Leon are still leading the group, after Lugi HF suffered their first defeat, losing 25:22 in Hungary against Csurgói KK.
In Group B, Montpellier Agglomeration HB are still heading for the quarter-final after having won for the third time in a row, this time 26:23 away against Skjern Håndbold.
Sporting CP may also dream of the quarter-final after their big 39:22 home win against HC Zomimak-M.
The dream of the quarter-final is definitely also alive in HBC Nantes who virtually sent IKK Kristianstad out into the darkness by winning 27:23 in Southern Sweden.
In Group D, HCM Constanta had a couple of successful time-outs in their home game against Füchse Berlin.
After both time-outs, the Romanian team came back into the top game which ended in a 31:31 draw.
Hannover-Burgdorf got their first point in the group phase, while Leon lost their second, as the two teams drew in front of 4,600 spectators in the Palacio de los Deportes in Leon Sunday evening.
The visitors were even close to taking both points, as they were leading for great parts of the game, and the German team was even leading by three goals, 30:27 with a few minutes left.
After en equal start, Hannover-Burgdorf got the upper hand and were leading with three or four goals most of the first half, before the hosts caught up with them towards half-time, at which point the score was even.
The second half developed more or less in the same way, with the German team having the initiative, and with the hosts catching up again at last.
With four points, Leon are still in a good position with regards to reaching the quarter-final, while Hannover-Burgdorf are still in trouble, with one points from their first three matches.
Csurgói KK (HUN) vs Lugi HK (SWE) 25:22 (14:7)
Csurgo are joining Reale Ademar Leon in the top of the group after giving Lugi their first defeat in group phase.
Csurgo have four points after three matches just like Leon, but the Spanish team are leading the group due to their 28:19 win against Csurgo in the internal meeting between the two teams.
The 850 spectators at the match in the Sports Hall in Csurgo Sunday night saw an equal beginning, but towards the end of the first half, the hosts created an apparently deciding distance, leading by seven goals already at half time.
Csurgói goalkeeper Piotr Wyszomirski played a great part in the home team's increasing leads.
The Polish international did a great job, and his many saves were an important reason, why the hosts continued to be seven goals up until the score was 17:10,
The Swedish visitors got back into the game, however, and reduced to 19:17, before the Hungarian home team virtually decided the matter with three goals in succession.
Sporting look more and more like candidates for the quarter-finals, having won clearly in two of their first group matches and only having lost narrowly to Montpellier.
In the home game against Zomimak Sunday afternoon, the Portuguese hosts left no doubt about the outcome.
1,200 spectators saw Sporting establishing a clear lead from the start, and the gap was increased more or less throughout the rest of the match.
The win places Sporting in second place in Group B after Montpellier with four points after the first half of the group phase, while Zomimak are left in fourth position without any points.
Sporting's right wing Pedro Caseiro Portela had a particularly nice Sunday, scoring 11 goals for the home team.
“We expected a tough game, but the quality of my players, the soul and ambition in wanting to win made things simpler. We are very satisfied with our work” Sporting coach Frederico Santos said.
“Today we were surprised by very fast handball played by the home team,” was the comment from Zomimak coach Sashko Brndevski.
Ever since he was a boy, Skjern player Bjarke Christensen had dreamed of playing against Theirry Omeyer.
Sunday evening, witnessed by 2013 spectators in the Skjern Bank Arena, the 22-year-old left wing got the chance against the experienced French international, but Christensen and his teammates had big trouble against the European champion in the Montpellier goal.
With series of great saves, 37-year-old Omeyer played a great part in Montpellier's away win against the number one in the Danish league.
Especially at the beginning of the match Omeyer took great parts of the self-confidence from the Skjern players, as Montpellier got ahead 6:0 – a lead they kept more or less for the rest of the first half which they won by seven.
In the second half, the home team got closer, but not closer than being three goals down at 18:21 and at the end with 23:26.
The hosts had their chances to get even closer, but again Omeyer got in the way of their hopes.
“I think we decided the match at the beginning, as Skjern played really good handball during the rest of the match. In the second half we got certain problems in our attack, but in general I think we did a good game,” Thierry Omeyer told Danish TV after the match, while Danish international Henrik Møllgaard from Skjern was understandably disappointed-
“We looked terrible at the beginning, and we were chasing that six goal deficit for the rest of the match. It is not even much worth to us that we finished the match okay, as we are missing some points now,” Møllgaard said.
Montpellier still have maximum points, six after three matches, while Skjern are left with two.
Nantes kept their dreams of a quarter-final berth alive, while Kristianstad's hopes for the same achievement were almost extinguished through the four-goal win for the French visitors in front of 3,865 spectators in the Kristianstad Arena Sunday afternoon.
With four points after their first three matches, Nantes are in second position in the group, two points after Pick Szeged, the only team they have lost to.
Nantes, who had Alberto Entrerrios in the team for the first time in the group phase, were in the driver's seat from the start and leading for the entire 60 minutes.
At half-time, the visitors were leading by three goals, and in the second half they succeeded in creating several four goals leads, before they finally also won by four.
“We did an okay game and created many opportunities, but we missed too many of them, and in between we appeared a little naïve,” Kristianstad coach Ola Lindgren said.
Time-outs do pay off from time to time. This fact was clearly illustrated in the early afternoon in the Sala Sporturilor in Constanta, as HCM Constanta and Füchse Berlin drew 31:31 in the top match in Group D in front of 2,000 spectators.
After Füchse had got the better start and taken a 9:5 lead after 14 minutes, Constanta took their first time-out – and right away the home team started to minimise the deficit, until Alexandru Csepreghi could equalise to 12:12 eight minutes after the time-out.
This pattern repeated itself in the second half, as Füchse changed the 16:16 score at half time into a 24:22 lead.
At this point, 12 minutes and 47 seconds into the second half, Constanta took their second time-out, and within the following nine minutes they changed a 22:25 deficit into a 28:25 lead.
The visitors got back into the game, however, and Constanta's last time-out, with 59 seconds left, could not bring the result beyond the draw which was the situation already then.
With this draw, Füchse lost their first point in the group phase, but the German team is still leading the group, one point ahead of also undefeated Constanta.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
|Content Copyright by the European Handball Federation and EHF Marketing (c) 1994-2018|