Clear victory against ChekhovArticle
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Hombrados saves Bronze medal for Ciudad Real.

Clear victory against Chekhov

Outstanding goalkeeper Jose Javier Hombrados was the match winner for Ciudad Real in the Bronze final of the first EHF FINAL4 in Cologne. His 24 saves paved the way to the 36:28 (19:15) victory against Russian champion Medvedi Chekhov. Top scorers were Alberto Entrerrios (8 goals for Ciudad Real) and Mikhail Chipurin (6goals for Chekhov).

So the CL winner of 2006, 2008 and 2009 is the first team ever to be decorated with a EHF Champions League Bronze medal, as the places three and four never have been played before. The Bronze medals were handed over by EHF Vice President Jean Brihault and Jan Tuik (Chairman EHF Competitions commission). Due to this constellation Chekhov played against all four Spanish EHF Champions League teams in one season – Valladolid, Leon, Barcelona and Ciudad Real.

Ciudad Real had to replace the injured duo Gull and Evdokimov, whereas Chekhov could play with their best squad. Both teams tried to show a spectacular match with a lot of goals and especially with a lot of incredible goals. In the beginning the wing players Luc Abalo (Ciudad Real) and Timur Dibirov (Chekhov) took that role and showed artistic goals. Both defense sides didn’t have their best day, so the spectators saw 34 goals in the first 30 minutes.

Ciudad Real dominated the first half thanks to their better individual class in attacks and the ten saves of goalkeeper Jose Hombrados. All players showed full speed, even as they had played their semis less than 24 hours ago. The Spaniards extended their lead from 7:3 (7.) to 14:9 in minute 22, before the Russians could reduce the gap thanks to goalkeeper Oleg Grams and an improvement in offense. But they didn’t come closer than to less than three goals in the first 30 minutes.

Right after the break Hombrados seemed to be invincible, as he saved eight consecutive shots of Chekhov players in only nine minutes. In this period his club increased the lead to a decisive score of 24:17. Every mistake of the Russians was punished by counter attack goals. The distance remained until the end, eight minutes before the final whistle the result was 32:24 – and the spectators started celebrating the Bronze winner with la ola waves, as the Russian “bears” went home with two defeats at the first ever EHF FINAL4.

TEXT: Björn Pazen