First defeat for Veszprém, 17 Sulc goalsArticle
«Go back

Löwen, Flensburg and Zagreb are one point away from the Last 16, Hamburg back on track – Saturday’s summary of Round 7.

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

First defeat for Veszprém, 17 Sulc goals

On Round 7 of the VELUX EHF Champions League the last spotless record came to an end: Veszprém lost their first match of this season in Hamburg. The Rhein Neckar Löwen took a highly lucky victory against Celje and are the same close to the Last 16 like Flensburg and Zagreb. The Croats took today’s clearest victory against Bosna – man of the day was Frantisek Sulc, who scored 17 goals for Szeged against Minsk.

Tomorrow’s match Ciudad Real – HC St. Petersburg had to be cancelled due to the flight situation in Spain. The second match of the last VELUX EHF Champions League round in 2010 in Spain – Barcelona - Kiel – will be played. After negotiations Kiel flew to Perpignan (France) and will go the last part of the trip by bus.

Group A:

Rhein Neckar Löwen – RK Pivovarna Lasko Celje 33:32 (14:16)

Youngster Patrick Groetzki and goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal secured the point and made the SAP Arena dance and sing – as the match was an absolute roller coaster. If Kielce do not win against Chambery tomorrow, the Löwen are already qualified for the Last 16. If not, they only need one point from the last three matches.

On the other hand Celje hope for a Kielce victory as otherwise the distance to Chambery and the fourth place would grow to four points.

As Szmal saved the last Celje shot at the score of 32:32 Groetzki scored the last and decisive goal by counter attack with the final whistle.

In the first half the Slovenians were the clearly better team as Löwen missed 13 shots. Celje led 11:8 and the Germans had to thank Szmal that the distance at the break were only two goals.

After the break Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson had his international comeback after he had missed several months after a knee injury. And it was the Icelandic, who started the catch-up chase with his first goal, the 22:23. But Celje remained strong, and it took until minute 46, as Löwen first equalized (25:25) and first led 27:26 in minute 48.

Most of the 6000 spectators had expected this goal as the turning point, but the Slovenians fought for one or two important points for the race to the Last 16. Surprisingly they took the lead again (32:31). 38 seconds before the end Grzegorz Tkaczyk equalized– before Szmal and Groetzki took the victory.

Top scorers in this high tensioned match were Gensheimer and Tkaczyk with each five goals for the Löwen and Gajić with seven goals for Celje.

Statements after the match:

Gudmundur Gudmundsson, coach Rhein Neckar Löwen: “We had an incredible match schedule in the last 16 days – and we lost absolutely unluckily in Hamburg and Flensburg in the Bundesliga. Today we were the lucky ones, for sure. But as we showed the bigger will to win I think this victory against a very strong team is deserved.”

Miro Požun, coach Celje: „We did not have any luck in the end – and maybe we lost everything with this defeat. We return home with heads hang low.”

Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson, player Löwen: „We have taken two highly important points even as we did not play so good. But it was a great feeling, as we nearly had been punished for our mistakes by Celje.”

Group B:

HSV Hamburg – MKB Veszprém 27:26 (13:11)

First defeat for Veszprém, new hope and revenge for the 30:33 in the first match for Hamburg: By beating the group leader from Hungary the Germans (nine points now) again can hope for the second our even first position in group B.

The whole match was on eye level, and even as HSV was temporarily in lead with seven goals the game was decided in the last minutes. If Sävehof lose against Montpellier, HSV and the French champion are already qualified for the Last 16.

The key players of the first half were the goalkeepers Johannes Bitter (HSV) and Nandor Fazekas (MKB). So the match was equal and poor in goals in the first 30 minutes. HSV was in lead 13:10, as Terzic scored the half time result with the final whistle.

The Germans started better in the second half and extended the lead – thanks to the in total eight goals of Pascal Hens – to 21:14 and 24:18.

But Veszprém fought back, scored a 5:0 series and was close to turn the game at the score of 24:23 – but then two Hamburg goals decided the match finally. Top scorer of Veszprém was again Marko Vujin with eight goals.

Statements after the match:

Martin Schwalb, coach Hamburg: „Our defence was stronger and more aggressive than in our last matches. We played really well until minute 50, as we lacked some power in the final stage of the match. But we fought until the end – and I hope for more success in the upcoming weeks.”

Lajos Mocsai, coach Veszprém: We were strong in defence, but weak in attack, specially our back court players. I am disappointed as we could have taken one or two points from here – but by looking at the whole 60 minutes HSV took a well-deserved victory.”

Igor Vori, player HSV: “It was our main task to strengthen our defence and our counter attacks. This worked well in the first 50 minutes, but then we lost power and concentration. But we showed character until the end.”

Peter Gulyas, player Veszprém: We lost in Hamburg, because our back court players played too hectic and all of us made too many mistakes. Unfortunately!

KIF Kolding – Tatran Presov 28:27 (14:16)

After their spectacular draw against Hamburg Tatran Presov was close to another surprise: But in the end the Danes finished their defeat series with a lucky victory over the Slovakians and are on the straight way to the Last 16 with now eight points.

Presov was stronger in the first 40 minutes and led 21:17 – maybe because Kolding had to miss injured goalkeeper Ole Erevik. But within ten minutes the Danes turned the match and took the lead at the 24:23, scored by Kasper Söndergaard.

But nothing was decided until the final whistle, as Tumidalský reduced the Presov gap to 27:28. Coach Trtik replaced his goalkeeper by a seventh field player – but without success.

Top scorers in this highly close match were Kristopans and Sobol (each seven for Presov) and Karlsson (five for Kolding).

Statement after the match:

Rastislav Trtík, coach Presov: “I congratulate my team for their fighting spirit and determination. The first half was splendid, as we occurred very little mistakes, in the second half we ceased to flourish. Kolding started to punish us with counter attacks and speed. In the end we lost a well-deserved point.”

The group will be finalized on Monday with the last VELUX EHF Champions League match of 2010, IK Sävehof – Montpellier Agglomeration.

Group C:

Chekhovski Medvedi – Cuatro Rayas Valladolid 29:27 (15:11)

Twelve goals of Siarhei Harbok brought the lead back to the Russian Champion. Before the winter break Chekhovski is one point ahead of Valladolid currently – but both teams are clearly on the path to the Last 16.

After the 10:9 the Russians scored a 5:2 series and were in lead with a four goal difference at the break. This gap lasted the whole second half, before Valladolid could decrease it in the final minutes. Aside Harbok, goalkeeper Grams was the match winner with 17 saves, top scorer for Valladolid were Perales and Bibija with each six goals.

Pick Szeged – Dinamo Minsk 37:34 (20:18)

Frantisek Sulc unstoppable: The Slovak scored incredible 17 goals and paved the way to the Last 16 for Szeged. The Hungarians are in great position with eight points, as Minsk remain sixth with only two points from the sole victory against Szeged in the first match.

It was the big objective of Szeged to take revenge – and they started well with a 10:5 and 15:10 lead. Even as Minsk equalized for the one and only time at 18:18 the host had the complete control after the break thanks to Frantisek Sulc. The game was decided at the score of 30:26. Minsk top scorer was Pukhouski with nine goals.

Statements after the match:

Sergej Bebeshko, coach Minsk: “It was a very interesting game with many goals, and the audience likes those kind of matches. Pick played very well in attack, especially Sulc, whom we could not stop. In such an atmosphere against so many fans my young players could not restrain.”

László Skaliczki, coach Szeged: “We could see that Minsk starts to get used to the VELUX EHF Champions League, they become better. In our team the match play ofFero Sulc and Szabi Zubai worked very well, and sometimes Máté Lékai and Maxim Butenko were good, too. I am very happy to have this eight points.”

Barys Pukhouski, player Minsk: “We prepare very seriously for every match, especially physically. We want to see the fruits of our work as soon as possible. It is a very young team and I hope we will play better and better.”

Frantisek Sulc, player Szeged: “It was my best match ever. Once in Germany I scored 16 goals, but today’s match was better. We knew before that Minsk are a good team, and today they proved this. I am sure that if they have two or three additional good players, they could make themselves more famous in Europe.”

Group D:

HCM Constanta – SG Flensburg-Handewitt 29:32 (12:17)

SG Flensburg-Handewitt took the last but one Step to the Last 16: The Germans only need one single point from their last three Group Stage matches to be absolutely sure to go on and secured the second place in this group.

The match in Romania was dominated for 60 minutes by Flensburg. After the 7:2 the Germans extended the lead to 12:5 in minute 20, and even as Constanta caught up a little to 17:20 after the break, the victory was never endangered.

Top scorers were Stavrositu (6 for HCM) and Eggert (9 for SG), aside Flensburg goalkeeper Dan Beutler saved the excellent number of 14 shots.

For Constanta the way to the Last 16 is a steep one, as they have to go to Zagreb and Sarajevo and have their only home match against current group leader Ciudad Real. But the fight with St. Petersburg (equal with four points, one match less than Constanta) for the fourth place will last until March.

RK Croatia Ossiguranje Zagreb – Bosna Sarajevo 34:15 (16:8)

Big revenge for the draw in the first match: Zagreb overran their neighbours from Bosnia with a 19 goal difference. Like Flensburg, the Croatian champion nearly booked the Last 16 ticket with ten points one point below Ciudad Real which will not play their seventh group match tomorrow.

After the 6:1 for the host Bosna became better, but at the break the distance was still eight goals. But then the “real flood” overcame the Bosnians, which did not score any goal from minute 42 to minute 51 – Zagreb increased the gap to 18 goals (29:11) – and the guest had only scored three goals in 21 minutes.

Later-on Zagreb coach Nenad Kljaic changed a lot – and stopped the ‘Zagreb Express’. Despite the clear defeat Bosna (remaining with one point)still has mathematical chances to go on to the Last 16, if they beat St. Petersburg and Constanta at home. Top scorers of the match were Kopljar (six for Zagreb) and Karacic (four for Bosna).

TEXT: Björn Pazen