Barca with full speedArticle
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Catalans overrun Celje and goalkeeper Erevik saves points for Kolding against Hamburg – read the Saturday’s summary.

Barca with full speed

MKB Veszprem remains spotless thanks to final catch-up chase against Montpellier and beat the second consecutive top team on home ground after Hamburg in the Match of the Week. Montpellier – like Hamburg in the same group – now has only 2 points on their account. Aside Barcelona, Flensburg and Kolding took the points in the Saturday’s matches of Match Day 3 of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Group A:

FC Barcelona-Borges – Pivovarna Lasko Celje 44:33 (22:15)

The draw in Kiel was the right impetus for Barcelona’s second home match: And despite the premiere defeat against Löwen the Catalans played outstanding against Celje and won their first game of this season – even as they had to replace their captain Laszlo Nagy due to a match suspension. The Slovenians didn’t have any chance against the counter attack based match play of Barca and took their second consecutive defeat. The Slovenians kept up with Barca only in the very beginning (5:5) then Barcelona extended their lead goal by goal thanks to the strong attackers, former Celje player Siarhei Rutenka (10 goals) and Juanin Garcia (eight goals). Aside – and like in Kiel – goalkeeper Danijel Saric had a great day with 19 saves. The 34:24 was the first 10 goal difference in the middle of the second half. Toscic and Gajic were the Celje top scorers with each seven goals, goalkeeper Mirko Allilovic saved eleven shots. So Barca’s back on track in this hammer group, as Celje has to improve against their top opponents.

Statements after the match:

Zvonimir Serdarušič, coach Celje: “I told the team before the match that Barca has another quality in their team than we have, specially when they play on home ground. Right in the first half the number of our mistakes was too high, despite the 15 goals. The number of goals we scoredwas ok, but we received 44 goals which says everything about the class of Barcelona. Every mistake was punished and we played much too naïve and our defense including Allilovic didn’t have their best day. We played with a high rhythm because you can not hide from the rhythm of FC Barcelona.”

Alem Toskič, player Celje: “The result itself shows how we played. In every segment of the game Barcelona was better today, both in defense and in attack.”

Sergei Rutenka, player Barcelona: “The result doesn’t show the difference between the two teams. After losing at home to Rhein Neckar Löwen, we wanted to show our audience that we will fight for this competition. We helped each other to compend the missing of Nagy.”

Xavi Pascual, coach Barcelona: “I’m quite satisfied, as gave a good show against a great team like Celje. We always play this high rhythm and so did Celje.We knew the game of Celje and we were able to steal balls. We played concentrated and that forced Celje to make mistakes. I’m sure Celje will enter the second round. They can beat Kiel, Rhein Neckar Lowen and us in their arena.”

Group B:

KIF Kolding- HSV Hamburg 32:30 (16:15)

Outstanding goalkeeper Ole Erevik made the difference in this Danish-German duel. As Kolding remained spotless, HSV lost their second consecutive match and the contact to the top of the ranking. Aside Erevik the strong Kolding back court with Karlsson, Spellerberg and Mikkelsen was the main reason for this victory – and KIF proved why they are one of the best home teams in the VELUX EHF Champions League. HSV was in lead most of the first half, but as Marcin Lijewski had to leave the field due to an injury Kolding improved until the break and took the lead.

In the second half the Danes played full of self-assurance and Hamburg lacked ideas in their attack. With one exception: Danish right wing Hans Lindbergh, who scored all his five goals after the break. But Lindbergh wasn’t enough to take the points, as Erevik improved in the final stage. In minute 52 HSV coach Martin Schwalb took his time-out at the score of 29:25 for KIF, but nothing changed, as Kolding found the holes in the HSV defense and Hamburg failed against Erevik. The victory was safe and well as Erevik saved another Hens shot 40 seconds before the end. Top scorers were Lars Christiansen (six for Kolding) and Blazenko Lackovic (seven for Hamburg).

Statements after the match:

Ingemar Linnell, coach Kolding: “The defense is in VELUX EHF Champions League much more important than in other competitions. HSV put us under pressure in the beginning but we pulled their teeth by changing the goalkeeper. It was a real tough fight and Erevik saved the points for us.”

Martin Schwalb, coach Hamburg: “Kolding played really good, my team showed a good performance only in the first 20 minutes. Then we had problems in defense, so the defeat is well-deserved. But now we’ll have our first match on home ground and I hope things will change. We’re really looking forward the re-match against Kolding in Hamburg.

MKB Veszprem – Montpellier Agglomeration 27:26 (13:15)

Statements after the match:

Lajos Mocsai, coach Veszprem: „The turnover came in the last ten minutes. During this period we have found those points in the defense from which we could be successful. It’s been a wonderful sport event. Our teamwith the essentialfortune and with the help of our spectators could turn over the result.”

Gábor Császár, player Veszprem: „For such matches it’s worth to love handball. In the second half our wonderful spectators  made us realize that we can not lose this game.”

Patrice Canayer, coach Montpellier: „It’s always a pleasure to play in Veszprém, it’s a particular place. Both of the teams did their utmost. It was a match of a very high level. The result has been a disappointment for us. Considering the whole match a draw would have been more fair. At the end Veszprém did their best to force us to make mistakes.”

Michael Guigou, player Montpellier: ”The turnover of the match was when Dejan Peric entered the court. Until this we have played very patiently and our goalkeeper has been excellent.”

Group D:

Bosna Sarajevo – SG Flensburg Handewitt 23:35 (9:18)

Thanks to their counter attacks and the 18 saves of goalkeeper Dan Beutler Flensburg took the points very easy from Sarajevo. As it was the second straight victory for the Germans, Bosna still wait for their first victory in this season of the VELUX EHF Champions League and remain with one point. Sarajevo coach Irfan Smajlagic took his green card very early at the score of 1:5 – but his team could only keep up until the 6:9, before Flensburg extended the lead to 14:7 and right after the break to 19:9. But even as Bosna could reduce to 14:20 by four consecutive goals the winner was clear. The biggest gap was the score of 32:18 for Flensburg before coach Per Carlen changed a lot of players. Top scorers for the SG were two Danish internationals: Svan Hansen with ten and Eggert with seven goals, Karacic scored seven times for Bosna.

Statement after the match:

Ljubomir Vranjes, manager Flensburg: „We’re highly satisfied with the result and the way we played. But we shouldn’t overestimate this victory.”
TEXT: Björn Pazen