First defeats for Magdeburg and Silkeborg
SC Magdeburg and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg both suffered their first defeat in the group phase of the Men’s EHF Cup on Sunday.
Magdeburg lost 29:34 away against Fraikin BM. Granollers in Group A, while Bjerringbro-Silkeborg were defeated 25:28 by SKA Minsk.
Sunday was a fine day for French teams, as HBC Nantes moved to the top of Group B with a 27:23 win against Frisch Auf Göppingen and Saint-Raphael Var Handball won 24:21 away against Pfadi Winterthur.
Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) vs SC Magdeburg (GER) 34:29 (15:13)
Granollers opened the group completely with this clear win. The Spanish side are now on four points – two points adrift of group leaders Magdeburg and one behind Dinamo Bucuresti.
Magdeburg were supported by an impressively large, loud group of fans, but those fans were silenced as the hosts steadily strengthened their lead throughout the 60 minutes.
Magdeburg started better, leading 2:0 and 4:1, but an increasing number of technical mistakes by the visitors helped bring Granollers into the game.
The German side had particular problems with Granollers line player Adrian Trejo, who scored 10 goals in the match, and it was not long before 1:4 became 4:4.
At 6:5 the home team had their first lead, which they managed to hold onto for the rest of the first half to win the period by two.
From the start of the second half, Granollers made it clear they were not letting go. They quickly increased their two-goal lead from half-time to five and later to seven goals.
Magdeburg could not come back from this deficit, with a four-goal difference the closest they came to levelling the score.
Danish international Michael Damgaard scored eight goals for Magdeburg to be the top scorer for the visitors.
HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) 27:24 (13:10)
It was a great day for Nantes, who not only claimed the top spot in the group but avenged their narrow 23:24 away defeat to Göppingen on Sunday evening.
Nantes’ aggressive defence, which often resembled a 4-2 formation, seemed to confuse and frustrate Göppingen most of the time.
The efficient defence helped the home team dominate the first half and lead by two to four goals before winning the first 30 minutes by three.
Göppingen started the second half by catching up and taking their first lead at 16:15, but this was to be the visitors’ only advantage in the match.
It did not take Nantes long to reclaim the initiative, and when they led by five goals a couple of times towards the end, they removed any doubt as to the outcome.
Nantes’ Spanish players had a big hand in the win, with Alberto Entrerrios and Valero Rivera scoring six goals each; the same number left wing Marcel Schiller scored for Göppingen.
Nantes are now on top of the group together with Team Tvis Holstebro – both on six points – while Göppingen are third with four points.
Pfadi Winterthur (SUI) vs Saint-Raphael Var Handball 21:24 (8:11)
Saint-Raphael took a major step towards the quarter-finals with this win, which was also revenge for the 28:28 draw against the Swiss team last Sunday when Saint-Raphael lost a big lead at the end.
“It was a very difficult game today. Winterthur is a good team and we had to fight very hard. The victory is very important for us because we want to reach the next round. Having won three points against Winterthur brings us nearer to this goal,” said Saint-Raphael left back Aurelian Abily.
When Pfadi Winterthur earned the draw in Saint-Raphael last Sunday, they finished far better than their opponents. This time, they started the way they ended the match a week ago.
It did not take Winterthur long to pull ahead to 4:1, but it did not take Saint-Raphael any longer to score four goals in succession and change a 3:5 deficit into a two goal lead at 7:5.
The lead was increased to three goals at 10:7, and three goals also separated the two teams at half-time.
Saint-Raphael were not able to shake their opponents off though. Winterthur closed the gap to 15:15 and 16:16, but in the end, Saint-Raphael finally created the decisive lead they needed.
Saint-Raphael are now in second position with five points, while Winterthur remain on one point without any chance to proceed in the tournament.
“I am very disappointed. We missed a big chance to win. Our defence was excellent, but in offence we made too many easy mistakes,” said Winterthur right back Stefan Freivogel.
SKA Minsk (BLR) vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) 28:25 (13:13)
Injured Belarusian star Siarhei Rutenka was among the 2,000 spectators in Sport Palace Uruchje when Minsk were responsible for Bjerringbro-Silkeborg’s first defeat of the group phase.
At the same time, the Belarusian team kept their own quarter-final dreams very much alive as they are now on four points – one point behind Saint-Raphael, and two behind Silkeborg.
Minsk practice a very aggressive defence and after an equal start, it was this aspect of their game that helped the hosts create a 12:8 lead.
By half-time the visitors were back, but the second half belonged completely to Minsk.
From the start of the half the home team took the lead again, and in the last quarter of an hour were consistently five or six goals up before eventually winning by three.
Right wing Aliaksandr Patsykailik scored eight goals for Minsk, while left back Nikolaj Markussen scored seven for Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg