Motor earn narrow victory over Brest
HC Motor or HC Meshkov Brest – which Eastern European side will reach the quarter-finals of the EHF Champions League Men for the first time?
After the first leg on Thursday evening, it is fair to say that the question remains unanswered. While HC Motor led throughout the match, the margin in their favour at the final buzzer was only two goals (32:30).
PLAY-OFFS, FIRST LEG
HC Motor (UKR) vs HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) 32:30 (15:12)
- having now recorded a total of eight victories, Motor are just one win below their best total from the 2015/16 season
- this was Motor's first win against Meshkov Brest in the Champions League in three matches played between the two teams
- after the 4:4 scoreline, Motor took the lead but could not extend it to more than three goals in the first half
- after the break, Brest reduced the gap to only one goal on occasions but never levelled the score
- Aidenas Malasinskas (seven goals) and Zakhar Denysov (five goals) were Motor’s top scorers, while Maksim Baranau scored nine for Brest
- the winners will face Elverum or Barça in the quarter-finals
Motor’s Belarusian quartet fail to make a big impact
Ahead of the play-off tie against Meshkov Brest, Motor's four Belarusian players were highly motivated by the opportunity to face their fellow countrymen.
Even though Motor won the match, the impact of their Belarusian quartet was not that big. Motor’s overall top scorer Viachaslau Bokhan only added three goals to his tally, Maxim Babichev netted four, while Barys Pukhouski remained on zero. Goalkeeper Ivan Maroz, who saved only three shots, did not get as much playing time as his colleague Gennadiy Komok.