Super thriller in ChekhovArticle
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Three matches, three high tensioned away victories for Zagreb, Kielce and Koper opened Round 3 of the VELUX EHF Champions League on Thursday evening.

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Super thriller in Chekhov

Only the away teams celebrated on Thursday evening in the VELUX EHF Champions League: Vive Targi Kielce won one the of the most dramatic thrillers of this competition at Chekhovski Medvedi same as RK CO Zagreb secured their win at Schaffhausen in the last second. Cimos Koper took their second victory by beating Constanta on their home ground by a brilliant catch-up chase.

Group A

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs. Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (CRO) 27:28 (14:14)

Third straight victory for CO Zagreb, second straight unlucky defeat for Kadetten Schaffhausen: After 60 absolute equal minutes on eye level the Croatian champions took an important step to a good position for the Last 16. Led by Ivano Balic and Marko Kopljar Zagreb could not increase the gap intermediately as the brave fighting Swiss champions were close and even led until the very end.

Zagreb was in front 10:7, before Kadetten scored four straight goals and took the lead. Then the run down was the same until the very end: Goal Kadetten, goal Zagreb, goal Kadetten – the host led 22:20, 24:22 and 25:23 nine minutes before the end. Thanks to three straight goals Zagreb turned the page to 26:25 in minute 57 and did not give the victory from their hands in the last seconds.

Top scorers were Iwan Ursic (Schaffhausen) and Marko Kopljar (Zagreb), who each scored eight times.

Group B

Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs. KS Vive Targi Kielce (POL) 30:31 (17:17)

Mega thriller in Chekhov with the happy end and the first points for Vive Targi Kielce: The last 30 seconds of this Russian-Polish duel will write history in the VELUX EHF Champions League. At the score of 30:30 Chekhov missed two penalty shots in only 15 seconds, as first Dimitri Kowalew failed against Kielce goalkeeper Marcus Cleverly, but was fouled again – Eduard Koksharow went to the seven meter line – and hits the post. Time-out by Kielce coach Bogdan Wenta 12 seconds before the end – and Michal Jurecki secures the first victory of this season with the final shot of the match.

The final result is even more incredible, as Chekhovskie Medvedi was in lead 30:27 six minutes before the end, before Tkaczyk, Buntic and Jurecki equalized until minute 59. Those two points strengthen the position of the Polish runners-up, as Medvedi are still waiting for their first win after two draws and this defeat.

Thanks to their strong attackers Chipurin and Shelmenko Medvedi was ahead 24:19 after Kielce was the stronger team in the starting phase. But in the end the Poles danced on the field. Top scorers were Shelmenko ( 8 goals for Medvedi) and Jurecki (9 goals for Kielce).

Group C

HCM Constanta (ROU) vs. RK Cimos Koper (SLO) 25:27 (14:14)

…and another match full of tension: HCM Constanta was on the winner’s way nearly the whole match, but then lost power and concentration in the final stage of another thrilling game.

Thanks to a brilliant catch-up chase Cimos Koper secured their second straight victory against a direct opponent after beating Plock in Round 2. Constanta remain with zero points.

The first half was balanced after Cimos Koper had the better start (4:7). Then the game changed and the half time result was equal. Outstanding Csepreghi led the Romanians to a clear 20:15 lead in minute 37. When the score was 24:21 eleven minutes before the end, the host was close to their first points, but then the page turned completely: Thanks to in total 15 goals of Krivokapic, Bombac and Bogunovic (each 5), Cimos Koper ran over the powerless Romanians. The Slovenian champions scored a 6:0 series to 27:24 in minute 57 and decided the game.

Top scorer of the game was Csepreghi with six goals.

TEXT: Björn Pazen