Skjern take impressive win against Füchse
Skjern Handbold are on top of Group C of the Men’s EHF Cup after an impressive 32:28 win at home against Füchse Berlin.
Another Danish team, Team Tvis Holstebro are leading Group B after a hard-fought 28:24 at home against St. Petersburg HC, while MT Melsungen seem untouchable in Group D after winning 30:24 away against Balatonfüredi KSE.
Pfadi Winterthur (SUI) vs Gorenje Velenje (SLO) 26:35 (12:16)
Gorenje Velenje took a substantial step towards to the quarter-finals, as the Slovenian team doubled their number of points through their convincing nine goal away win against Pfadi Winterthur.
The home team was only in the lead once at 3:2 at the beginning of the game.
From then on, Velenje was the dominating team. The visitors went ahead by six goals already in the first half, and although Pfadi managed to increase the gap to four goals at half-time, the visitors continued their dominance after the break.
Velenje’s lead was increased almost constantly throughout the last 30 minutes, and was at its highest at the end, when nine goals separated the two teams.
Velenje playmaker Stas Skube had a particularly impressive performance with 12 goals from 15 attempts.
Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) vs HCM Constanta (ROU) 23:21 (12:10)
Granollers were top of Group B for a few hours through their two-goal win at home against Constanta on Saturday afternoon.
The match in the Palau d’Esport de Granollers was dominated by two solid defences, and a rather high number of mistakes in attack by both sides.
For most of this encounter, the home team was leading by three goals, but as they went ahead by four goals at 22:18 with seven and a half minute left, it looked like the match was as good as done.
Constanta came back once again and reduced the gap to two goals, however, this was as close as they got.
While Granollers are top of the group with five points, Constanta are still close to the bottom with only one.
Team Tvis Holstebro (DEN) vs St. Petersburg HC (RUS) 28:24 (16:13)
Holstebro went top of Group B through their four-goal win in The Grakjaer Arena Saturday night, but the Danish team had to work hard for the two points, as the Russian visitors kept on their toes well into the second half.
After an equal start, Holstebro seemed to be in control of the match especially towards the end of the first half, as they managed to take a three-goal lead.
From the start of the second half, however, St. Petersburg came back again and the guests even managed to take several one-goal leads.
For great parts of the match, the 6-0 defence was more successful than their opponents’ more offensive formations.
And in the end, the hosts proved to be the better team, with final result being their largest lead in the match.
“I am not sure if we were tired, as this was our fifth match in ten days, but our performance in the second half was not good enough.
“However, we got the two points we came for, and that is what really matters,” Holstebro back court player Allan Damgaard commented after the win.
Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Füchse Berlin (GER) 32:28 (17:12)
Skjern are alone on top of Group C after their rather surprising 32:28 home win against Füchse Berlin.
Skjern were missing goalkeeper Kristoffer Laursen due to injury, which meant that Soren Pedersen had to stand in goal for the full 60 minutes.
This did not keep the hosts from getting the far better start being 3:0 up before Pavel Horak scored Füchse’s first goal after more than eight minutes.
Soren Pedersen did extremely well in goal, and in attack Skjern had success in taking the pace out of the game.
This enabled Skjern to be between two and four goals ahead for most of the first half, and to even be five up at half-time.
The Skjern players had particularly good working conditions in the right side of the Füchse defence, and even though Silvio Heinevetter replaced Petr Stochl in the German goal, nothing could save the Bundesliga team from a four-goal defeat after several six-goal deficits during the second half.
“I think we put more energy into the game, while it seemed as if they (Füchse) seemed to take things a bit easy at the beginning. Soren was outstanding in goal, and I think our win was justified, as we were in control all the way,” Skjern back court player Daniel Svensson commented after their win.
Balatonfüredi KSE (HUN) vs MT Melsungen (GER ) 24:30 (9:16)
Melsungen had no problems taking their third win out of three in the group, as they won by six goals away against Balatonfüred on Saturday afternoon.
Melsungen came to Hungary as favourites, and they lived up to that status from the start in the Veszprém Arena.
The Bundesliga team soon took a three-goal lead, and that lead was increased almost constantly throughout the first half which the visitors won by seven goals.
Early in the second half, Melsungen increased their lead to nine goals, and even though the home team managed to reduce the gap to five goals at 20:15, their hopes were soon extinguished, as Melsungen went nine goals ahead again, before Balatonfüred managed to soften the harsh result right at the end.
Melsungen are leading the group with six points, while Balatonfüred are still stuck on one point.
RK Nexe (CRO) vs Eskilstuna Guif (SWE) 29:29 (17:18)
Swedish right wing Daniel Pettersson was the standout player in a closely-fought match in front of 2,000 spectators in Nasice.
After a bright start for the home side Nexe, it was Eskilstuna who controlled proceedings for the majority of the match and even lead by four goals at 16:12. However, the Croatian hosts managed to claw their way back within a goal at the break.
The sides traded goals in the second half before the Swedes opened up another four-goal lead, thanks largely to Pettersson's 10-goal haul, but they just could not close out the match and Nexe claimed a point to keep them just ahead of the visiting team in second place.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc