Barca defeated in ChamberyArticle
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Kiel and Löwen remain unbeaten in Group A, first point for Kielce, first victory for AaB – The Sunday summary of Round 4 of VELUX EHF Champions League.

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Barca defeat in Chambery

Before the five weeks break of the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League only one team is still spotless: MKB Veszprem. After Ciudad Real had tied in Zagreb on Saturday, on Sunday Rhein Neckar Löwendrew in the Match of the Week in Kielce. The Polish champion took their fist point.

The biggest sensation was the Barcelona defeat in Chambery. The French runner-up now have good chances for the last 16 after their second home victory. Flensburg didn’t have problems with St. Petersburg, as THW Kiel took both points clearly against their former coach Noka Serdarusic in the Celje’s lion’s den. For Aalborg the 33:29 in the debutants duel against Minsk meant the first ever victory in the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League.

After 48 matches Veszprem, Kiel, Ciudad Real, Zagreb, Valladolid, Chekhovski Medvedi and Löwen are still unbeaten – with clear focus on the last 16. Presov is the only pointless team. The fifth and next Round will be played from 17 November on.

Group A:

Vive Targi Kielce – Rhein Neckar Löwen 23:23 (12:12)

Karol Bielecki could´t hear the final whistle on the field in a match in Kielce for the second time in the row. Fortunately this time because of a more common reason, as he received a red card in the final minute. However he found a very heartily welcome in the place of his summer eye injury as the spectators raised a huge poster of the Polish star on the main tribute with a writing: “You are the pride of the Polish handball”. During the entry ceremony the minister of sport together with the chairman of the national bank of Poland read a letter of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk who praised Bielecki´s human attitude, endurance and a huge effort to carry on with a sport career. He showed a very little of thankfulness when he extended the Löwen lead to two goals at the end of the first half of the Match of the Week.

However the host managed to claw back and level the score. Four seconds before the end and after Bielecki had been ejected Stojkovič had the opportunity to seal the first victory for Kielce, but he hit just Fritz in the goal with his seven meter throw. Altogether three players left the match earlier with red card suspensions- all of them Polish - Grabarczyk, Tkaczyk and Bielecki.

Statements after the match:

Gudmundur Gudmundsson, coach Rhein Neckar Löwen: "We were very well prepared. We worked quite well in the defense, but were struggling in attack. We were producing too many tactical errors and could have easily lost this match. Therefore we have to be satisfied with one point. The last action of the match was quite sad, because Karol was ejected. I thank Kielce for a nice and a fair match."

Grzegorsz Tkaczyk, player Rhein Neckar Löwen: "We wanted to keep our spotless record, but we have to be pleased with one point as well."

Bogdan Wenta, coach Kielce: "We tried to turn the scenario and stayed in the match. Our defense was working quite well and we should be happy with one point. We still can look forward and fight for our chance. What make me feel happy is the wonderful atmosphere and the possibility to present this match not only in Poland but in the whole Europe. I think our spectators, who prepared a great welcome for Karol and other Polish players, but it eventually helped us as well. I thank my players for their effort and our opponents for a fair fight."

Mariusz Jurasik, player Kielce: "It was really the match of the goalkeepers. It could have ended up much better for us, if we had converted several counter attacks, but to be honest our opponents had very similar chances with the same result."

Chambery Savoie – FC Barcelona-Borges 27:26 (14:12)

The Chambery arena remains a focal point for the host: After beating Celje now the French runners-up surprised Barcelona-Borges with a highly effective performance. Being extremely motivated, the French players overcame the Barca defense and build a real wall at their six meter area. Edin Basic was the key player in the starting period – with his fourth goal in minute 22 he scored the 10:6 lead. Even as Chambery had to deal with two suspended player at the same time,

Barcelona couldn’t catch up and the host led 14:12 at the break. In the second half Barca coach Xavi Pascual tried hard to turn the match, he changed the goalkeeper and the defense tactics, but Chambery wasn’t shaken. In contrast: The French team increased the gap to a pre-decisive 21:15 in minute 43. Even as Xavier Barachet had received his third two minutes penalty, Chambery remained dominant, the Barcelona catch-up chase came too late. In the end Basic was the top scorer with nine goals, Sorhaindo, Romero and Rocas each scored four goals for Barcelona.

RK Pivovarna Lasko Celje – THW Kiel 28:34 (10:18)

No positive meeting for Noka Serdarusic: The coach of RK Celje was really hit by his former German team, as the Slovenians didn’t have any chance against the THW express on home ground. Kiel played as cold as ice in the hot atmosphere in the Celje arena – and in the next two Roundsthe two unbeaten German teams (Löwen and Kiel) will meet for the top duel. For Celje it was the third consecutive defeat after winning the opener in Kielce. After the eight goals distance at the break Kiel even went away to twelve goals and decided the match very early. Both THW goalkeepers – Omeyer and Palicka stood strong – so that Kiel coach Gislasson could change his team very often after the break. Even as Celje reduced the gap there was no chance for points for the Slovenians. Top scorer was Aron Palmarsson (Kiel) with seven goals.

Group C:

Aab Handball – Dinamo Minsk 33:29 (11:16)

Ten goals of Norwegian Christian Kjelling, strong goalkeeper Jannick Green and an absolute improvement after the break were the key factors for the first Aab victory. Now the Danes have overtaken Minsk in the ranking with now three points. The Belarussian champion remain with two points. Minsk was the better team before the break, but then Aalborg changed their tactics and took the profit of several “unforced errors” of the guest team. As Jan Lennartsson scored another seven goals for Aab, Pavel Atman was the Minsk top scorer with five goals.

Group D:

SG Flensburg-Handewitt – HC St. Petersburg 34:22 (17:14)

It took 30 minutes as Flensburg had found their rhythm and took a clear victory in the end. With six points the Germans are chasing the leading teams Ciudad Real and Zagreb. After their opening victory against Bosna, St. Petersburg lost their third match in a row.As the Russian runners-up lost their powers right from the start of the second half, Flensburg easily went away to decisive 29:19 in minute 45. SG goalkeeper Sören Rasmussen extremely improved after the break and the Russian only scored eight goals in 30 minutes. Top scorers were Mogensen (9 for Flensburg) and Nasyrow (6 for St. Petersburg).

TEXT: Björn Pazen