Leon squeeze out win against Chekhov
After beating Metalurg last weekend at home (40:27), Chekhov were travelling to Spain to play against Leon, in what looked like a turning point for the Russian side.
Were Chekhov, standing third in the group, to take the two points in Leon, they would close the gap between the two teams, as Leon, ranked second, were ahead by three points before this game.
Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP) vs Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) 33:32 (17:19)
- The first half was an all-out offensive affair, as both teams scored a combined 38 goals. Leon took a two goal-advantage into the middle of the half, but Chekhov finished it better, with Aleksandr Ermakov scoring five. The Russian side was ahead by two at the break (19:17).
- The Russian side was punished by two red cards in the second half, for Pavel Andreev and Sergei Kosorotov, yet they remained in the game all through the second half, thanks to Dmitry Kiselev's impressive performance (10 goals).
- But the left-hander lost his temper in the dying moments of the game, taking a two minute-suspension with less than a minute to play. On the other side of the court, Leon could count on Gonzalo Perez Arce (9 goals) to give them the two points.
- Leon remain unbeaten in the group phase, and just one point behind leader Wisla Plock. Chekhov remain third but are now five points behind Leon.
Gonzalo Perez Arce, the cold-blooded killer
The short right-winger has been an important man in Leon’s European League campaign so far, and he was crucial tonight once again.
Scoring nine, including the last three goals for his team, his hand did not shake when it came to beating Artom Grushko, either on seven-metre throws or an open shot.
And, the icing on the cake, Perez Arce stole the ball on Chekhov’s last attack, to make sure his team was getting the two points - a masterclass performance.