Montpellier take narrow advantage to Berlin
A double Champions League winner and a double EHF Cup winner, the clash between Montpellier and Berlin looked like a European League final already.
For the first official game between the two sides in European competitions, one was hard pressed to to predict which team would take the advantage into the second leg and we had to wait until late in the tie to find out.
Montpellier HB (FRA) vs Füchse Berlin (GER) 32:29 (13:11)
- If the hosts seemed to have the upper hand in a low-scoring first half, they did not manage to take a real advantage on the score. After leading by three, in the wake of an excellent Kevin Bonnefoi between the posts, Montpellier saw Berlin come back within two at the break (13:11).
- The German side pulled it level after the break, thanks to Fabian Wiede and Lasse Andersson (both scored six), but Montpellier managed to remain cool headed in the last ten minutes. With Marin Sego delivering some crucial saves and Valentin Porte giving a last push, the French side won by three (32:29).
- Porte was the top scorer of the game, netting eight times.
- The two teams will meet again for the second leg next week in Germany.
Valentin Porte: strong as a captain
The Montpellier captain may have turned idle in offence lately but tonight, he stood out as a leader for his team. Scoring eight, including the last two goals for the hosts, he delivered his best offensive performance of his European season. He had every reason to celebrate once the final siren had been sounded, but count on him to remain focused before the second leg.