Barcelona, Kiel and Ciudad Real go onArticle
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The favoured teams reach the quarterfinals: Barca is through despite defeat in Veszprem, Kiel and Ciudad win clearly.

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»Last 16

Barcelona, Kiel and Ciudad Real go on

All last season’s VELUX EHF FINAL4 participants marched through to the current Quarterfinals: After Chekhovski Medvedi had reached the next stage on Thursday, reigning champion THW Kiel, finalist FC Barcelona-Borges and 2010 third ranked team Renovalia Ciudad Real have made their way to the Quarterfinals on Saturday.

Last 16, leg 2:

THW Kiel – KIF Kolding 36:24 (20:11)

With an in total distance of 19 goals after two matches THW Kiel left no doubt: The Germans had made a first step due to the 36:29 in the first match and did not have any problems to beat the Danes even clearer on home ground. For the German champion it was the seventh consecutive qualification for a CL Quarterfinals since 2005. Kolding had to replace some injured players and gave a chance to the youth, Kiel only missed right wing Christian Sprenger – but he was replaced perfectly by youngster Tobias Reichmann, who scored six goals (five in the first half) and became THW top scorer together with Momir Illic.

Kolding kept up with the reigning champion until the score of 12:9 for THW – but then the host decided the game thanks to ten strong minutes and a series of 8:1 until the intermediate score of 20:10 in minute 29. The run-down of those goals was always the same: Kolding lost the ball in attack, one long pass, counter attack, goal.

After the break Kiel changed several players, including the goalkeepers from Omeyer to Palicka. Kim Andersson returned after a two months injury break and Jerome Fernandez maybe played his last international match for Kiel – as he will sign a four year contract in Toulouse next week. Despite those changes Kiel remained dominant. Only Lars Christiansen and Kasper Söndergaard kept the Kolding attack alive with each seven goals. In the final stage both teams nearly stopped acting in defense in an absolute fair matches with only three suspensions. As for KIF the international season is over, Kiel go on – and hope not to meet a German opponent in the Quarterfinals.

Renovalia Ciudad Real – Chambery Savoie 36:19 (18:8)

After the close 27:24 in France now Ciudad Real really overran Chambery in the second leg with the up to now hugest distance of 17 goals in one match. The Spaniards played unstoppable even as they had to replace some players – and except defence specialist Didier Dinart all field players scored, led by the seven goals of Kiril Lazarow. Chambery was without any chance in this uneven duel.

After the 6:4 Ciudad Real extended the gap easily to 16:6 thanks to their again outstanding defence and their razor-sharp counter attacks. The match was already decided before the break. Despite changing a lot after the break Ciudad Real even increased the gap to 16 goals in 41 for the first time. Three minutes before the Chambery was below 19 goals. Top scorer for the French team was Busselier with four goals.

Statements after the match:

Philippe Gardent, coach Chambery: “Congratulations to Ciudad Real. We knew before that it would be very difficult to win in the Don Quichote Arena – especially as we had to replace three players.”

Damir Bicanic, player Chambery: We are sad to leave the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League with today’s result, but we are happy to have reached this stage of the competition with our young team.”

Talant Dujshebaev, coach Ciudad Real: “I congratulate my players because they did a very good job. Chambery were in a very difficult group and they did a good job, for me was not easy to win the away match and today my team did a good job the first 15 minutes and the result was easy.”

Alberto Entrerrios, player Ciudad Real: “We are very happy that we have reached the Quarterfinals as we knew before the game that the three goal advantage from the first match meant a good base for us.”

MKB Veszprem – FC Barcelona-Borges 30:26 (15:8)

At halftime Veszprem had levelled the deficit of seven goals from the first match (21:28), in the end the Hungarians had again be eliminated by Barcelona like in 2010. But despite last season they took the points against the Catalans – a success, but in the end they failed despite the eleven goals of VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League top scorer Marko Vujin, who finishes the season with in total 98 goals in 12 matches. On Barca side wing player Juanin Garcia was the top scorer with nine goals, including five penalty shots.

Thanks to the frenetic support of their spectators Veszprem started on highest level – determined to reduce the seven goal gap very fast. And in minute 18 they had reached their goal at the intermediate score of 10:3 for the first time. Flying on the wings of this start and their fans Veszprem kept this distance until the break.

But guest coach Xavi Pascual had found the right words to his players – as they started completely different after the break and knowing that they were close to elimination. Scoring four straight goals right at the beginning the gap were only three goals (15:12). Vujin showed his strength again by bringing Veszprem in lead with a six goals distance again at 19:13 – but it was the last time the Hungarians could hope for the sensation. Barca continued as cold as ice and calmed down the fans by a 7:1 series and the first ever equalizer at 20:20 in minute 45. Now Veszprem needed an even bigger miracle but was not able to break the Barca resistance. In the end they took both points but had to say “good bye” to the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions league season 2010/2011 after a outstanding balance of in total nine victories and only three defeats.

Statements after the match:

Lajos Mocsai, coach Veszprem: “Even as we failed to let the miracle come true I congratulate my team. In contrast to the final stage of the first match our defence was well organized andgoalkeeper Peric saved brilliant, too. In the final addition Barcelona had a significant advantage in their alternatives and kept control even as they lost today. With Ferenc Ilyes we will have another strong alternative next season, so maybe then we proceed further on in this competition. Our spectators can be proud of their team. Best wishes to Barcelona to win the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League this season.”

Xavi Pascual, coach Barcelona: “I congratulate Veszprem – a team which would have belonged to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 last year and this year. We knew that it will be difficult to play against them. This year's match was similar to last year, in the first half we helped Veszprem a lot. In the second half we were able to change the path we had entered thanks to a greater determination. We are very pleased that we won the addition and could leave an important duel successfully behind.”
László Nagy, Hungarian player Barcelona: “This year’s and last year’s matches were similar. We were confident that we could continue on our way we had started in the first leg. The audience created a great atmosphere. Despite inappropriate comments, I say to the fans: Veszprem is fantastic!”

TEXT: Björn Pazen