19.02.2017, 10:30
Cocks push Melsungen to the limit in thrilling match

DAY REVIEW: Defending Men's EHF Cup champions Frisch Auf Göppingen had to fight for an away win against Porto on Sunday

Cocks push Melsungen to the limit in thrilling match

  • Only a goal in the last seconds gave Melsungen a win away against Cocks
  • Frisch Auf Göppingen were trailing for a large part of their away match against Porto
  • Granollers overcame a four-goal deficit in the second half to defeat HC Midtjylland

Group A

Füchse Berlin (GER) vs Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA) 33:31 (19:14)

Füchse, who were missing Fabian Wiede as well as Kresimir Kozina and Drago Vukovic, led throughout their home game against Saint-Raphael Var Handball.

They were one or two goals up during most of the first half before increasing their lead to five goals towards half-time.

The home team stretched the lead to eight goals (25:17) during the second half and at 30:24, everything was still indicating a clear win.

However, four Saint-Raphael goals in a row changed the score to 30:28. The visitors managed to reduce the distance to only one goal at 31:30 and 32:31, before Füchse's Paul Drux made everything clear by making it 33:31 in the last seconds.

Raphael Caucheteux was the top scorer with 10 goals for Saint-Raphael, while Hans Lindberg scored nine for Füchse.

The win puts the German club on four points, while Saint-Raphael remain on zero.

Group B

Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) vs HC Midtjylland (DEN) 34:32 (19:20)

In their first group match away against Göppingen last Sunday, Granollers were leading 6:0 at the start, but ended by losing 29:28.

This time, their match took a quite different course with HC Midtjylland leading for the majority of the first 42 minutes.

Nine minutes into the second half, being four goals down, Granollers tried a man-to-man defence tactic against Midtjylland´s Norwegian left back Espen Lie Hansen, who had caused the Spanish defence serious problems until then.

This strategy paid off, and as Midtjylland tired, Granollers caught up.

After 12 minutes of the second half, David Resina Forns made the 25:25 equaliser. One minute later, it was also Forns who gave the hosts their first lead since the start, 26:25.

Granollers went on to take a five-goal lead at 34:29, before Midtjylland scored the last three goals of the match.

Futebolde Clube de Porto (POR) vs Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) 27:31 (14:13)

Defending EHF Cup winners Göppingen got their second straight win, but they had to work for the points in Porto Sunday night.

Due to a stellar performance by Hugo Lorenzo in the Porto goal, the home team managed to change a 7:5 deficit into a 12:9 lead in the first half, and even though the visitors reduced the distance to one goal by half time, Porto continued to be one or two goals ahead at the beginning of the second half.

Slowly, however, Göppingen found the solution to the occasional 4-2 and 3-3 formations Porto were practising in their defence, and as Lorenzo also stopped performing miracles in the Portuguese goal, Göppingen changed the course of the game and earned a relatively clear win.

Group C

SC Magdeburg (GER) vs Grundfos Tatabanya (HUN) 30:25 (17:13)

Tatabanya suffered their first defeat in the group, as Magdeburg won by five in the Bördelandhalle.

The home side started strongly, quickly establishing a four-goal lead and holding on to it until half-time.

As the second half started, Magdeburg continued to keep the visitors three or four goals behind them.

With less than 10 minutes of the match remaining Magdeburg increased their lead to seven goals, but a late rally meant Tatabanya reduced the gap slightly.

“We got a good start and were there from the first minute. We must learn from those mistakes, but we have got ourselves a good positon in the group,” said Magdeburg coach Bennet Wiegert.

“We made too many technical mistakes. We must change that before we meet Magdeburg again,” said Tatabanya left wing Milos Vujovic.

Magdeburg are on top of the group with three points together with KIF Kolding Kobenhavn, while Tatabanya remain on two points.

Group D

Cocks (FIN) vs MT Melsungen (GER) 28:29 (14:15)

Melsungen came to Finland as clear favourites, but the Bundesliga team had to work hard for the two points they came away with.

Only a goal from Momir Rnic with less than 20 seconds left made the German win a fact.

Cocks, playing their first-ever home match in a European group phase, offered brilliant resistance from the start, and at half time, Melsungen were only leading by one goal.

The visitors did not manage to increase the distance decisively in the second half either and with six minutes left Cocks were leading 26:25.

Melsungen got ahead again at 27:26 and 28:27. With under two minutes left in the match Cocks´ top scorer Nico Rønnberg equalised on a penalty, before Rnic secured the Melsungen win after all.

“We got the lead many times but Cocks equalised every time. They had quality players such as Rönnberg and Vitalie Nenita. It was a good handball game,” said Melsungen coach Michael Roth.

Cocks coach Gintaras Savukynas felt that his team had deserved at least a draw.

“My opinion is that we deserved at least one point for our fight, but at the last point this huge experience was in favor of Melsungen. I’m very happy about the character of our team and hope we can keep this up,” he said.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / jh

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