Hannover-Burgdorf back in the race after fine comeback
TSV Hannover-Burgdorf are back in the race for quarter-final tickets in the Men's EHF Cup after an impressive comeback got them a 27:26 home win against Reale Ademar Leon in Group A.
Lugi HF made use of Leon's defeat to take over the first place in the group through a 28:26 win at home against Csurgói KK.
In Group B, Montpellier Agglomeration made sure to finish in top two, as they won 27:25 at home against Skjern who only have a theoretical chance to go on from the group now.
Füchse Berlin stay undefeated in Group D after beating HCM Constanta 28:26 at home, while Chambéry Savoie Handball kept their quarter-final dream alive through a 27:21 win at home against HC Sporta Hlohovec who are without any chance to proceed.
TSV Hannover-Burgdorf (GER) vs Reale Ademar Leon (ESP) 27:26 (12:15)
Through an impressive comeback in the Swiss Life Arena, Hannover-Burgdorf managed to stay in the race for the quarter-final tickets, as they caught up with a five goal deficit to defeat Ademar Leon with a single goal Sunday afternoon.
After an equal start, Leon dominated the game and got ahead by five goals already before half time and again in the second half.
However, five Hannover goals in succession between the 43rd and the 49th minute changed the score from 20:17 for the visitors to 22:20 for the home team.
Leon equalised again at 23:23 and 24:24, but the German hosts got two goals up again at 26:24 and 27:25 and made it impossible for the opponents to catch up again.
“At the moment we have a lot of injuries and are very shorthanded. We had to fight for every yard and every inch, and my team did exactly that. It was not our best game, but we fought very hard, and I am very proud of every player,” Hannover coach Christoph Nordmeyer said.
With three points after four matches, Hannover-Burgdorf may still hope to qualify for the quarter-final.
The hope is larger for Ademar Leon, though, as the Spanish team has four points.
Lugi HF (SWE) vs Csurgói KK (HUN) 28:26 (13:14)
Lugi managed to revenge the 22:25 away defeat to Csurgói KK in the two teams' first meeting in the group phase, when the Swedish team won 28:26 at home in Lund. Obviously, the Hungarian team is still one goal better on aggregate, though.
The visitors were leading by a couple of goals during most of the first half, and also at the beginning of the second, but four Lugi goals in succession changed the score from 14:16 to 18:16, and from then on the hosts were in the lead.
Lugi even got five goals ahead, before the guests managed to reduce the deficit a bit towards the end.
According to Lugi coach Tomas Axnér, his team had more physical resources than their opponents.
“They look tired around the middle of the second half, and often they did not bother to run home,” Axnér told the Swedish Handball Federation's website.
“Both teams played well in the first half. In the second we did not stand a chance. We just collapsed and Lugi was the winning team today," Csurgói coach Imre Vilmos said.
Lugi are now leading Group A with five points, while Csurgo stay on four in this very open group.
Montpellier Agglomeration HB (FRA) vs Skjern Haandbold (DEN) 27:25 (14:12)
With eight points for four matches, Montpellier are sure to finish on one of the two top spots in Group B.
However, as only three of the four number twos in the group phase are sure to proceed to the quarter-finals, the French team cannot be completely sure to go on, even though it is hard to imagine that eight points should not be enough.
Skjern's chance to reach the quarter-final is only theoretical now, but the Danes put up a brilliant fight in Southern France Sunday afternoon. At the end, however, Montpellier proved to be just that bit stronger that gave them the win.
For great parts, the match was dominated by the goalkeepers, Thierry Omeyer by Montpellier and Tim Winkler by Skjern.
Omeyer was particularly dominating, and the French international played a great part in Montpellier changing a 3:4 deficit into a 10:4 lead around the middle of the first half.
Skjern got back into the game, though, and for the rest of the match, the affair was equal. The visitors even managed to equalise at 16:16, 22:22 and 23:23, before the hosts created the narrow, but deciding two goal difference at the end.
“We came to fine chances, our defence functioned well and our goalkeepers had the saves they should. Therefore, we are deeply disappointed. We played a great game and were close at getting a point or two, but Montpellier have one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and that often mean a win,” Skjern veteran Claus Möller Jakobsen told his club's website.
“We did not change much. We got into a bit of trouble, but our goalkeeper was there. Four wins out of four matches, that is not so bad!” Montpellier coach Patrice Canayer said.
Füchse Berlin (GER) vs HCM Constanta (ROU) 28:26 (12:11)
4,961 spectators in the Max Schmeling-Halle in Berlin saw Füchse consolidate their lead in Group D through this two-goal win against Constanta.
Constanta is the only team who has managed to take a point from Füchse, as the first meeting between the two teams ended in a 31:31 draw.
Sunday afternoon, Füchse managed to avenge this loss of points, though. Although the team from the German capital was still missing the injured back court players Sven-Sören Christophersen, Pavel Horak and Paul Drux, they were able to lead throughout the match, apart from 14:14 early in the second half.
Füchse were even leading by four goals several time, before the visitors managed to come a bit closer at the end, without being able to close the gap completely, though.
Füchse are leading the group with seven points, while Constanta are now in third position with four points.
Chambéry Savoie Handball (FRA) vs HC Sporta Hlohovec (SVK) 27:21 (16:8)
Chambéry gave their quarter-final hopes a tremendous boost through their 27:21 win at home against Hlohovec who are without any chance to proceed.
However, the French team was close to throwing away a nine goal lead, before they managed to finish in style and score the last five goals of the match.
Chambéry were completely dominating in the first half, where they increased their lead constantly, to eight at half time.
The home team even increased to nine goals, 17:8 at the beginning of the second half, but from that point the Slovakian visitors came back into the game. In fact, Hlohovec came as close as only being one goal behind at 22:21, but at that point, the Chambéry players seemed to realise how serious the situation was for them. Anyway, Chambéry scored the last five goals and ended up by winning with six goals.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br