DAY REVIEW: Fraikin BM. Granollers may still hope for the quarter-final, while HBC Nantes are close to the Finals, and Pfadi Winterhtur got their first win
Granollers boost quarter-final hopes, while Winterthur take first win
Fraikin BM. Granollers took the lead in Group A and boosted their quarter-final chances, as they won a thriller in Romania 27:26 against Dinamo Bucuresti.
In Group B, HBC Nantes overcame a shaky first half to defeat OCI-LIONS 30:24 and take a major step towards the finals, which they are hosting and in Group C, Pfadi Winterthur got their first win in the group phase, as they defeated SKA Minsk as clearly, 32:24.
Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU) vs Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) 26:27 (14:15)
A goal from right wing Adrian Trejo with 12 seconds leaves Granollers' quarter-final chances in their own hands.
A win at home against Aalborg Handball on the last match day and the Spanish team will be through.
A draw may do but the seven points Granollers will have in that case, may not be enough to reach the quarter-final in case final hosts, Nantes HBC proceed directly to the finals from Group B, leaving only six teams for the quarter-finals.
A tiny hope still exists for Dinamo but the Romanian side will have to win away against SC Magdeburg, while Granollers will have to lose against Aalborg.
However, this scenario will still only bring Dinamo on seven points which may not be sufficient.
In the match Sunday afternoon in Bucharest, neither team was really able to get the upper hand, and as a logical consequence, the lead changed more or less all the time, seldom being more than two goals.
Granollers managed to create the largest distance between the two teams early in the second half, as they got up 17:14, but it did not take the home team long to catch up, and from then on, the game was equal again the rest of the way until Trejo´s decisive goal 12 seconds before the final buzzer.
HBC Nantes (FRA) vs OCI-LIONS (NED) 30:24 (14:14)
Nantes got the expected win but the sensation was lurking during the first half as the Dutch underdogs were leading by three goals at 9:6, 10:7 and 11:8.
Nantes came back at 11:11, but the LIONS took the lead again, and even though the homes team managed to equalise again, 14:14 at half-time was almost a small sensation in itself.
At the beginning of the second half, the Dutch champions were still able to follow the favourites and not until the last 20 minutes were Nantes able to establish the deciding.
Despite the shaky 40 minutes, Nantes placed themselves in a very good position, not to qualify for the quarter-final, but to proceed directly to the finals.
Being the organisers of the finals, this is the privilege of Nantes, if they win the group or finish as one of the three best second placed teams.
Spanish right wing David Balaguer scored 10 goals for Nantes, while Portuguese left wing Joao Ramos scored six for the visitors
Pfadi Winterthur (SUI) vs SKA Minsk (BLR) 32:24 (16:11)
Pfadi Winterthur have no chance to reach the quarter-finals anymore, but that did not stop the Swiss team from giving the 1030 spectators in the Eulachhalle a fine last home match in EHF Cup.
Not only was the clear win Winterthur's first victory in the group phase.
The Swiss side also delivered a severe blow to Minsk's quarter-final hopes.
The Belarusian team can still secure the second place in the group by a home win against Saint-Raphael on the last match day, but this will only bring them on six points, and in case there will only be three quarter-finals, this will not be enough to proceed.
10 goals from Minsk left back Uladzislau Kulesh made him most scoring player in the match, but was far from enough to giving his team a win.
Croatian line player Filip Gavranovic scored almost as many, nine, for Winterthur who may even escape the last place in the group with a win in Denmark against Bjerringbro-Silkeborg in their last match, provided Minsk lose against Saint-Raphael.
“It was important for us to show that we can compete on this level,” Filip Gavrilovic said.
“We played well in the attack as well as in the defence and I guess that is why we won today,” he added.
“We already lost the game at the beginning.
“We made big mistakes in the attack and were not aggressive enough in the defence.
We knew it would be difficult here in Switzerland, but we just not able to perform,” found Uladzislau Kulesh.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / ec
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