Veszprem remain spotless, draw for Ciudad Real in ZagrebArticle
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Two top matches of the groups B and D were in focus of the Saturday’s matches of Round 4 of the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League.

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»Group Phase

Veszprem remain spotless, draw for Ciudad Real in Zagreb

Group B:

MKB Veszprem – KIF Kolding 31:28 (13:16)

Four matches, four victories: MKB Veszprem remain the dominating team in Group B before the upcoming break. But the Hungarians needed a strong second half to beat the before spotless team from Kolding to keep number one. Thanks to their top scorer Lars Christiansen (9 goals) the Danes imprinted the first half and led well-deserved 16:13.But then Veszprem accelerated and reduced their mistakes in attack right after the break: Thanks to a 7:0 series to 20:16 in only eight minutes they turned the game completely, and as Marko Vujin (7 goals) scored the 29:22 the match was decided. In the end Kolding could reduce the gap to three goals.

Statements after the match:

Lajos Mocsai, coach MKB Veszprem: “It was a game of two completely different halves. We needed 30 minutes to reach our “normal temperature”, as the first half was disappointing in attack. In the second half we played on a level I rather saw before from my team. It was a big step to achieve the victory in our group.”

Nandor Fazeklas, goalkeeper MKB Veszprem: “In the second half we showed what we’re able to and what we can expect in future. We have finished fantastic three weeks now with victories against Hamburg, Montpellier and Kolding.”

Ingemar Linell, coach KIF Kolding: “We started quite well, but MKB pulled away the game from us, as they put enormous pressure on us.”

Bo Spellerberg, player KIF Kolding: “Veszprem was strong in defense and attack. I was pleased with the first half, but then a bad period started. “

Tatran Presov – Montpellier Agglomeration 31:33 (16:17)

Tatran Presov was very close to the big sensation and their first point in this current season. Montpellier - replacing injured top stars Nikola Karabatic and Vid Kavticnik due to injuries after the Veszprem game - had to fight until the very last minute to secure their second victory. Attended by a great atmosphere in the City Hall of Presov the host played their best match, but was unlucky in the 90 seconds. The whole match was imprinted by the two top scorers of both teams: In the end Wiliam Acambray either decided this duel against former Montpellier Jan Sobol (12 goals) with 14 hits or even scored the decisive last goal to the 33:31 in the last minute. The first 58 minutes were on eye level, even as the French Champion was in lead most of the time. After the break the biggest distance was three goals, but Presov fought brave. Two minutes before the end the hall went crazy as the Slovaks scored the 31:31, but then a time-out of MAHB coach Patrice Canayer and the change of the goalkeeper from local hero Richard Stochl (former Presov player) to Mickael Robin brought the happy-end for Montpellier.

Statements after the match:

Rastislav Trtik, coach Tatran Presov: It was a very good game, and we had several chances to turn the match. We didn’t resign, but players like Acambray and Bojinovic made the difference. After the close defeat in Sävehof we now should what we’re able to.I think that we can beat Sävehof an maybe Kolding at home.

Patrice Canayer, coach Montpellier: It was a highly important game for us and so those two points are really important, as we missed some important players. It was very hard to beat Presov, as they played very well. Our former player Jan Sobol showed an extraordinary performance.

Jan Sobol, player Presov: It was a great game for us, as we were close to a team with the objective to reach the VELUXFINAL4. We can be satisfied with our performance.

Group C:

Cuatro Rayas Valladolid – Pick Szeged 26:23 (13:11)

Valladolid remain unbeaten and on top of the ranking, and Szeged’s still waiting for their first point in away matches with still four points on their account. The starting period until the 7:7 was totally equal, then Valladolid went to the lockers with a close lead of two goals. In minute 52 the match seemed to be pre-decided as the Spaniards went away to 25:18 – but then they lacked concentration. Szeged didn’t give up and reduced the gap to 25:23, before Valladolid top scorer Gurbindo decided the game with his seventh goals. Szeged top scorer was Silc with seven goals, too.

Group D:

RK CO Zagreb – Renovalia Ciudad Real 30:30 (14:14)

7000 spectators in the Arena Zagreb saw a high class and high tensioned game with no winner – but both opponents remain unbeaten. For Ciudad Real it was the first draw, for Zagreb the second after the tie in Sarajevo. So the Spaniards kept the lead in this group. The whole 60 minutes were absolutely equal, as no team could increase their gap to more than two goals. 16 seconds before the end, Ciudad Real coach Talant Dushebajew took his time-out and with the last attack of the match Julien Aguinagalde hit the side bar of the Zagreb goal. Before top scorer Tonci Valcic (7goals) had equalized for the host. Entrerrios scored six goals for Ciudad Real.

TEXT: Björn Pazen