Montpellier dismantle KoldingArticle
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15-goal difference in top match, first point for Presov against Hamburg, Zagreb beat Flensburg – a summary of Sunday’s matches in Round 6.

»EHF CL Channel »2010-11 Men's CL
»Group Phase

Montpellier dismantle Kolding


Group A

The situation in this "hammer group" is really thrilling prior to the last four rounds. All of the six teams still have a chance to qualify for the Last 16. Current leader THW Kiel (ten points, and still unbeaten) are in the best position, ahead of Rhein Neckar Löwen (8 points), even though Löwen couldn’t win their last three matches.

Due to the surprising draw against Kielce, Barcelona missed the chance to keep up with the German teams and have only six points on their account. The fight for fourth place is more intense than before, as Celje (4 points) took the victory against Chambery (6). Even Kielce can go on, despite the fact that they only have two points and no victory on their account.

Group B

After MKB Veszprém – the only team to achieve six victories – qualified as the first team for the Last 16, Montpellier have also made some positive steps towards the next stage by beating Kolding, for the second time within one week, and very clearly. HSV surprisingly dropped one point in Presov, but are still ahead of the Danes, but below Montpellier.

Tatran Presov – HSV Hamburg 26:26 (13:15)

A big surprise was caused by the only team with zero points before Round 6: Tatran Presov put Hamburg under pressure and took a lucky, but largely deserved, draw against the big favourite. For Hamburg (five points below Veszprém now) this draw could mean a big problem in the race for the number one status in this group.

After the Slovaks led 6:4, HSV suddenly woke up, and Pascal Hens hit the back of the net with nearly every shot. Even though Presov fought hard until the break, the five Hens goals in the first 30 minutes meant a close, but deserved, 15:13 lead. At the other end, Jan Sobol had already scored six goals by this time.

Despite Hamburg being in the lead for most of the time in the second half, Presov were able to remain close to the Germans thanks to the saves of goalkeeper Jakub Krupa (in total 17). But ten minutes before the end, HSV have established a 24:20 lead, which seemed to indicate victory was on the cards.

But Presov fought for every centimetre and HSV missed far too many game-deciding chances.

Four minutes before the end, and after Michal Urban had scored to make it 24:25, HSV coach Martin Schwalb used his time out card. But this move was without success, as Krupa saved one shot after another, and tall back court player Dajnis Kristopans equalized for a score of 26:26 in the last minute.

HSV lost the ball again and Presov coach Trtik took his team time out just 20 seconds before the end to preparing a great chance for victory. On the re-start, Kristopans lost the ball, and the Germans had the chance to clinch the game with their last attack…. until Krupa became the hero by saving the last shot of Igor Vori.

Top scorers in this thrilling match were Sobol and Antl with seven goals each for Presov, and Kraus, who scored six times for Hamburg.

Montpellier Agglomeration – KIF Kolding 40:25 (19:10)

Those who thought the eight-goal difference one week ago in Denmark was a surprise, were given confirmation this Sunday: Montpellier really marched over Kolding and dispensed with them with one of the clearest defeats in KIF club history.

After the HSV draw, Montpellier are now ‘hunter number one’ of Veszprém, having just a four-point gap to the Hungarians, who have yet to play in the Montpellier Arena.

It was a demonstration of strength against a Danish team which resigned very early and was punished hard. After the 10:5 score-line, the Montpellier Express started rolling, driven by Michaël Guigou, Mladen Bojinović and Nikola Karabatić. Even when Montpellier coach Patrice Canayer rotated his squad in the second half, the difference increased to an unbelievable 15 goals.

On Tuesday, French international Guigou will have an operation on his knee. The wing player will be out until the beginning of January, so he’ll miss the last Montpellier match of VELUX EHF Champions League in 2010, next weekend in Sävehof. Then the French Champion can book its ticket for the Last 16 – while the Kolding players have to lick their wounds.

Statements after the match:

Ingemar Linnell, coach Kolding: The bad defence was the reason for the two clear defeats against Montpellier. I congratulate Montpellier on this big result today.

Patrice Canayer, coach Montpellier: Today we made a great game. The players were more concentrated and showed real team spirit. The players are slowly returning to their best form, but the road is still long, even though we took two very important points tonight.

Nikola Karabatić, player Montpellier: Kolding are a very good team, and last year we had some problems against them, but this time we played our games very well. It was a good and effective defense and we kept our concentration throughout the whole match. Once it was started, the machine was running and was very hard to stop.

Group C

Russian victory, Belarussian defeat – these are the Sunday’s results in Group C. Schaffhausen can hope for the Last 16 and Chekhov took revenge in Szeged.

Dinamo Minsk – Kadetten Schaffhausen 31:32 (14:16)

First – and highly important – victory for Kadetten Schaffhausen: The Swiss Champion decided the game in Minsk eight seconds before the end thanks to a save of goalkeeper Gustavsson and overtook the team from Belarus in the ranking with now three points.

And Kadetten even have the chance to climb higher, as the return match against Minsk will be played in February. With another win Schaffhausen could even hope for the Last 16 – especially as they have the home right in the upcoming four matches.

The final stage of the game was full of tension. After Kadetten have been leading 29:26, Minsk equalized at the score of 31:31 – and had the great chance to turn the match, but hit the cross bar.

With his in total eleventh goal Jan Filip brought the lead back to the Swiss Champion, but Minsk had the last attack. Pavel Atman missed the chance to equalize, as Gustavsson saved the shot.

Pick Szeged – Chekhovski Medvedi 22:29 (8:16)

With a clear strike Chekhovski Medvedi took revenge for the home defeat against Szeged last weekend (25:26).

Due to the surprising draw of Valladolid on home soil against Aalborg, the Russian Champion is only one point below the Spaniards – and will meet them in their arena in Chekhov.

The 3:2 in an early stage of the match was the last Szeged lead, as then Chekhov extended the gap minute by minute from 8:4 to 12:7 and 16:8 at the break. At the start of the second half Szeged had their best period, as they came closer to 17:21 and had several chances to score their 18th goal. But the physically stronger Russians then took the complete control and played really dominant in attack and defence.

Despite the defeat the Hungarians remain on third position two points ahead of Aab and three ahead of Schaffhausen.

Group D

Obviously the race for the fourth position will be a duel of Constanta and St. Petersburg, as Bosna Sarajevo are still waiting for their first victory. But mathematically Sarajevo still can hope despite the fact that they are three points below the Romanians and the Russians. Ciudad are the clear winner of this round, as the gap to Zagreb and Flensburg rose.

HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb – SG Flensburg-Handewitt 31:26 (14:12)

Zagreb did not only take revenge for the 29:32 defeat against Flensburg from the first match, but overtook the Germans in the ranking thanks to the better goal difference, as both are equal with eight points, three below leader Ciudad Real.

Flensburg could only keep up in the first 20 minutes, before the Croats had the better means in attack and the stronger defence.

Right after the break the Germans could hope for a short while, but then Zagreb really overran the opponent. Ten minutes before the end Zagreb had decided the game at the score of 28:20, as Flensburg missed too many chances. Even as the Germans could reduce the gap, they were far away from the turning the match. Top scorer for Zagreb was Horvat with ten goals, Mogensen scored eight times for Flensburg.

Renovalia Ciudad Real – HC Bosna Sarajevo 32:17 (14:6)

After their fifth victory the Spaniards only need one more point from the last four matches of the VELUX EHF Champions League to qualify for the Last 16. The match against Sarajevo was as easy for the three times CL winner as the first game in Bosnia – and the host kept the lead clearly in this group.

As the Spanish defence stood like a wall, Bosna only scored six goals in the first half – and the match had been decided after 30 minutes. Ciudad had increased the distance from 5:3 to 14:6 in only 14 minutes.

After the break Ciudad Real even extended the gap against the Bosnians who still wait for their first victory. The 17:7 was the first ten goals difference. Five Ciudad players each scored four goals, Karacic was the Bosna top scorer with the same number of goals.

Statements after the match:

Danijel Ridic, Bosna assistant coach: We are a young team and we had problems with injuries. Our players don’t have so many experience and that’s why they were a little afraid. We made too many technical mistakes and bad shots.

Igor Karacic, Bosna player: This was the first match against a big team for us and we only can gather more experience.

Talant Dujshebaev, Ciudad Real coach: I’m happy with the team, because they played the game very seriously, as we kept in control the game the whole 60 minutes.

Julen Aginagalde, Ciudad Real player: We played good, took two points which keep us at the top of the group.

TEXT: Björn Pazen