First ever international title for Cimos KoperArticle
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Slovenians beat Benfica in the Final of the Men’s EHF Challenge Cup.

First ever international title for Cimos Koper

2010/11 Men’s Challenge Cup – Final, second leg:

RK Cimos Koper (SLO) vs. S.L. Benfica (POR) 31:27 (17:11)
First leg result: 27:27

For the first time since 2004, when RK Pivovarna Celje had become EHF Champions League champion, a Slovenian men’s team have won an European Cup: And for the first time in their club history RK Cimos Koper have become winner of an international competition, the EHF Challenge Cup. The team from the Adriatic coast beat the Portuguese team Benfica Lissabon with a four goal margin on home ground after a draw in the first leg. So Koper avoided that the trophy remained in Lisbon, as Benfica’s neighbour Sporting had won the Challenge Cup last season.

Like in the first leg goalkeeper Vran (15 saves) and top scorer Krivokapic (six goals) were the match winners for the Slovenians. Even ten goals of Carniero could not bring the title to Benfica.

After a hectic and nervous start of both teams Koper took control of the game after the 4:3 and extended the gap thanks to their strong defence to 12:8 in minute 20 and 16:10 right before the break. By taking this six goal distance to the second half the Slovenians felt secure that the title is theirs and were convinced in their opinion at the 22:15 in minute 41. But Benfica fought back and reduced the gap minute by minute. At the intermediate score of 28:26 the game was close to turn, before Krivokapic decided the match after a time-out of his coach, and finally Vran saved two important shots – the party at Koper could start.

TEXT: Björn Pazen