Montpellier take fortress KielArticle
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French champions win top duel of Round 2, as Madrid ties with Medvedi. The two debutants Kobenhavn and Berlin remain unbeaten.

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Men's News

Montpellier take fortress Kiel

Thanks to their outstanding shooter William Accambray MAHB Montpellier have won at THW Kiel on Sunday evening and remain on top of Group D together with debutant Kobenhavn (clear victory over Szeged).

Madrid missed their second win against Chekhovskie Medvedi, as Chambery and Berlin took their first victories, St. Petersburg tied with Metalurg.

Group A

After FC Barcelona Intersport and RK CO Zagreb had taken their each second victory in Round 2, Chambery Savoie took their first one and is equal in points with Schaffhausen now. But it was tough to beat Sävehof.

Chambery Savoie HB (FRA) vs. IK Sävehof (SWE) 33:30 (17:17)

Damir Bicanic secured this enormous important victory for Chambery against the Swedish champions. Sävehof – like one week before in Zagreb – stood strong and kept up with the French runners-up for a long time.

The game was open until the final stage – as Chambery decided the game in minute 52, when Cedric Paty scored the 28:24 after goalkeeper Nebojsa Grahovac made some important saves after the break.

Statements after the match:

Damir Bicanic (player Chambery): Sävehof played excellent, much better than we had expected. Our defence did not play as well as we can before the break, but then we improved. For the first time in my whole life I have scored ten goals in the VELUXC EHF Champions League – I am very proud, but it is more important that we won the game.

Philippe Gardent (coach Chambery): Little things decided this close match, but thanks to our performance after the break we took two points. Our match winners were Bicanic and Grahovac.

Group B

MKB Veszprem is the sole leader of Group B after two rounds with a clean spot. Atletico Madrid tied against Medvedi and have three points like Berlin after their victory over Kielce.

Füchse Berlin (GER) vs. Vive Targi Kielce (POL) 30:27 (14:15)

Debutant Füchse Berlin remain unbeaten, as Vive Targi Kielce remain with zero points after two matches. 7876 spectators saw a highly intense and close match of two top teams. Berlin took the points thanks to their great catch-up chase in the final stage of the match. Top scorers were pivot Torsten Laen (Füchse, 7 goals) and Grzegorz Tkaczyk (Kielce, 5).

Both teams started with full speed, but as the Berlin defence could not cope with the Kielce wing and back court players, the Polish runners-up increased the lead to 11:6. But when Spanish world star Iker Romero took the responsibility in the Füchse attack the rollercoaster turned the direction for the first time – and Berlin equalized at 14:14, after goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter hd sgut the gate for minutes.

When the host took the lead at 17:15 the game changed again, as then Kielce had found their rhythm and increased the margin to 24:21 in minute 50. But thanks to a final 9:3 series Füchse took their first ever victory in the EHF Champions League.

BM Atletico Madrid (ESP) vs. Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) 30:30 (18:14)

Decades after the last international handball match in the shirts of Atletico Madrid the Spaniards missed the great chance to take their second victory. Nearly the whole 60 minutes Madrid was in lead, but then Eduard Koksharow equalized by a penalty shot in the last second.

Atletico was dominant before the break, and went to the winner’s way when they led 23:15. But the eight goals margin was decreased minute by minute, as the Russian defence improved and on the other hand Chekhovskie scored a 6:0 series to 21:23 – the game was open again. Thanks to a goal of Mikhail Chipurin the Russians led once at 25:24, before Madrid turned the game – until the very last second.

For Medvedi it was the second draw after the tie on home ground against Berlin. Lazarow (7) and Markussen (6) were the top scorers for Madrid, Filipow scored seven times for Medvedi.

Group C

Metalurg Skopje remain unbeaten after HSV Hamburg and Cimos Koper had won their second round matches. The German champions are on top with four points ahead of Skopje (3), Koper, Plock (each 2), St. Petersburg (1) and Constanta (0).

HC St. Petersburg (RUS) vs. HC Metalurg (MKD) 25:25 (10:11)

Metalurg is still unbeaten, as the Russian runners-up still wait for their first victory – and what’s the worth of this draw for whom the rest of the Group Stage will show.

The first half was a rollercoaster: After the FYR Macedonian champions led 6:2, St. Petersburg improved in defence, Metalurg lost their pace – and the host equalized at 8:8. And the match remained instable until the end. First Metalurg extended the margin to 21:17, before St. Petersburg turned the game with five straight goals to 22:21 for the first time. Despite in total 17 saves of goalkeeper Darko Stanic, Metalurg was below 24:25 until 18 seconds before the end before Zarko Markovic equalized to the final score of 25:25.

Markovic and Mojsovski were the top scorers with each seven goals for Metalurg.

Group D

Kobenhavn and Montpellier are ahead of Kiel after Round 2: After Leon had – expectedly - beaten Beograd on Saturday, Montpellier won the top class duel in Kiel and Kobenhavn defeated Szeged clearly.

AG Kobenhavn (DEN) vs. Pick Szeged (HUN) 36:24 (18:11)

Debutant AG Kobenhavn remain on top of group D after their second victory. Outstanding Mikkel Hansen secured the second straight win.

The Bröndbyhallen was on fire at the first ever VELUX EHF Champions League home match of AG Kobenhavn and the fans celebrated the Danish champions and especially top scorer Mikkel Hansen, who scored nine times.

The final result was much clearer than the rundown of the match, which was high level handball by two intense fighting teams. After minute 20 the distance was only one goal (11:10), but an injury break stopped the Szeged way of playing, as Kobenhavn scored a 7:1 series to the 18:11 halftime result – including in total seven goals of Mikkel Hansen and a huge number of saves by goalkeeper Kasper Hvidt.

As Pick did not give up after the break, it was not possible for AGK to increase the distance until minute 47. Thanks to three saves of keeper Hvidt and three straight goals then at least the victory was secured at 29:20, before Kobenhavn increased to 32:22.

Statements after the match:

Magnus Andersson (coach Kobenhavn):The defense was focused and patient, which was decisive. We were under pressure but today the team was ready from the first minute and throughout the whole match. Our offensive players did very well as many players scored goals. I have to mention Mikkel Hansen, off course, he scored a lot of goals and he created space for the other players.

Mads Larsen (player Kobenhavn): One of the differences to our first match in Beograd was that the first match was not on our home field, this one was. It means a lot! Pick Szeged was unlucky to lose their best player in the beginning of the match.

THW Kiel (GER) vs. Montpellier MAHB (FRA) 23:24 (14:10)

After 23 straight victories – 14 in preparation, nine in all competitions of this season – THW Kiel conceded their first defeat – as Montpellier turned the game after break thanks to their outstanding shooter William Accambray. He scored eight times in the second half. On the other hand THW goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer who will return to Montpellier in 2013 – showed a strong performance with 17 saves, top scorer of THW was Filip Jicha with six goals.

Montpellier now is equal in points with Kobenhavn (4) and two points ahead of Kiel.

THW could not cope with the excellent MAHB defence in the second half as the German runners-up only scored nine times in 30 minutes. In the first half the game went completely different: Montpellier failed against Omeyer and Kiel took a four goal margin to the dressing rooms. Then the explosive 30 minutes of Accambray started: He scored eight times – including the decisive 24:23, as Kiel missed their last chance with the final whistle.

Statements after the match:

Patrice Canayer, coach Montpellier: This game fulfilled all expectations – it was a great match. Our players took the challenge to win at this fortress of handball. Before the break we were weak in attack, but then we improved – and now we are absolutely proud that we have won this game. I hope that we meet Kiel again in Germany – a long time after the Group Stage. But this is a different story.

Alfred Gislason, coach Kiel: Montpellier had a higher quality than our team after the break. As we missed three or four important and 100 per cent chances in the second half we missed the victory. Montpellier was more efficient in attack.

TEXT: Björn Pazen