Debutant Füchse on the runArticle
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Germans remain unbeaten as their league fellows from Hamburg. Easy victories for Plock and Montpellier on Sunday.

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Men's News

Debutant Füchse on the run

Group A:

The wheat is already starting to separate from the chuff after three Rounds: RK CO Zagreb and defending champions FC Barcelona Intersport lead the group with a clear spot of six points, followed by Chambery Savoie (4) and Kadetten Schaffhausen. Mostly those four teams are the candidates for the Last 16, as Sävehof and Sarajevo still wait for their first points.

Group B:

Füchse Berlin remain the surprise team, as they – like Atletico Madrid – are still unbeatenand will face the equal Spaniards in the top duel next Sunday. After their defeat Veszprem is ranked third (4 points) in this group of death ahead of two more equal teams (Kielce and Chekhovski, each 2 points). Bjerringbro Silkeborg was three times close to a point, but still wait for something on their account.

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) vs. Füchse Berlin (GER) 25:30 (14:14)

The Foxes are still on their hunt: In the duel of the VELUX EHF Champions League debutants the Germans took both points, remain unbeaten and caught up to group leader Atletico Madrid (both 5 points), as Bjerringbro Silkeborg again was the unlucky loser of a mostly equal matches.

The first half was a very close affair. The biggest leads of Füchse Berlin were 7:5 and 8:6, a moment later the match turned. Bjerringbro-Silkeborg came in lead by 9:8 and in the last ten minutes of the first half it mostly were the Danes who were in the lead. Sadly for them: They could not come up by more than one goal and at the break it was equal 14:14.

The first ten minutes of the second were the “crunch time”, as Berlin extended the margin pre-decisively to 21:16, even as the Danes did not give and reduced to 19:21. But the final stage was a clear one for the Foxes, led by goalkeeper Petr Stochl, Alexander Petersson, Sven Sören Christophersen and especially their Danish player Torsten Laen who became the top scorer for Berlin with eight goals. For Bjerringbro-Silkeborg right wing Dennis Kirkegaard (top scorer with six goals), goalkeeper Jannick Green and playmaker Rasmus Lauge were the key profiles.

Statements after the game:

Dagur Sigurdsson (coach Füchse Berlin): It was a nice game here in Denmark. We are very happy with the result and I think we played a very good game, as the result is fair. From the middle of the first half until the end of the game we played very good in the defence against a team with a very high tempo. We showed a concentrated game and it was important to get the victory in this strong and close group- but we know that we have lots of work ahead. Every match in this group is like a final!

Carsten Albrektsen (coach Bjerringbro-Silkeborg): It was a deserved victory in a match played on a high level. We lost the game because of the start after the break, when we came below five goals- and from there we could not return. Aside Füchse goalkeeper Petr Stochl made a great job, which was very important for them today.

Rasmus Lauge (playmaker Bjerringbro-Silkeborg): The victory was deserved. We played a very good first half on a high level but we could not reach the same level at the beginning of the second half where our first ten minutes were awful. We came behind by five goals and against such a great team you cannot catch up five goals.

Group C:

As expected German champions HSV Hamburg are still in lead with a clear spot and six points. Thanks to their victories in Round 3, Wisla Plock and Cimos Koper are below with a two points margin. The fourth current candidate for the Last 16 are Metalurg Skopje (3 points), as St. Petersburg and Constanta are still waiting for their first victory.

Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) – HC St. Petersburg (RUS) 30:26 (17:11)

The Polish champions remain without a spot on home soil: After beating Koper in their opener, Orlen Wisla Plock now took the points clearly against HC St. Petersburg. The Russians are still with only one point, as Plock made a huge step to the Last 16 with now four points.

The final result looks much closer than the run-down of the match was: St. Petersburg was equal until the 8:8, then the host started their engines and extended the margin to 16:10 and 17:11 at the break. At least in minute 35 everything was decided, as the Russians missed the re-start completely and Plock went on to 21:12.

Knowing that the victory is theirs the Poles decelerated, due to this constellation St. Petersburg was able to get some “cosmetics” on the final result with a four goal gap.

Top scorers of this one-sided game, attended by more than 3500 spectators, were Chrapkowski (six goals for Plock) and Pronin, who scored five times for St. Petersburg.

HSV Hamburg (GER) vs. HC Metalurg (MKD) 32:25 (18:12)

Easy match for the German champions: With their third clear victory HSV remain on top of the group, as Metalurg lost their first match in this VELUX EHF Champions League season. As Zarko Markovic was suspended after a red card, the whole burden to score for the FYR Macedonians was onNaumce Mojsovski, who hit the back of the net eight times.

But this was too less to endanger the German who decided the game right after the break. Their top scorer was Blazenko Lackovic with six goals against his former Croatian national team coach Lino Cervar.

Metalurg was close only until the 8:6, before the HSV defence stood too strong for the Balkan team. Hamburg took the fast profit of those Metalurg mistakes and increased the distance to six goals at the break. The ten goal margin was reached in minute 41 at the score of 24:14.

Knowing that they are the winner, HSV then switched down the gear, and Metalurg could reduce the gap, but never were close to a surprise. With three points the FYR Macedonians rank one point below Koper and Plock.

Statements after the match:

Per Carlén (coach HSV Handball): I am very satisfied with the victory, but not with the way we played the last 15 minutes, when we did not focus enough on the match. Our defence played brilliant like Blazenko Lackovic did in attack. It was highly important that we had the abilities to rotate a lot, as we have our next tough match already on Tuesday.

Lino Cervar (coach HC Metalurg): Hamburg was the clear better team, the final result was well-deserved. We lacked aggression in defence and speed in attack. After the break we could improve, but HSV was the clear deserved winner.

Blazenko Lackovic (player HSV Handball): Of course it was a special match against Lino Cervar, as we had great moments in the past. We had the stronger defence today, which was the key to success.

Vancho Dimovski (player HC Metalurg): We cannot be satisfied with 18 conceded goals in the first 30 minutes. We knew before that Hamburg is the great favourite in this group, but we wanted to reach a good result. But other matches are much more important for us.

Group D:

The French champions Montpellier MAHB could increase their lead in this group with six points – but their biggest contenders Kobenhavn and Kiel did not play this weekend, as their direct duel will follow on 18 December. Leon stepped among this trio thanks to their away victory in Szeged. Those four teams seem to be in the favourite role for the Last 16, as Szeged and Beograd still wait for a point.

Montpellier Agglomeration HB (FRA) vs. RK Partizan Beograd (SRB) 36:27 (22:14)

After their clash in Kiel Montpellier MAHB did not have any problems with the Serbian champions who still wait for their first success.

As the result was clear at the break, MAHB coach Patrice Canayer could start a huge rotation in the second half without endangering the victory. The host started furious with a 7:1 and 11:4 lead and kept this distance until the halftime score. Beograd could not catch up with the physical strength of the French in the whole 60 one-sided minutes.

Top scorer was Slovenian international Vid Kavticnik with nine goals in nine attempts for Montpelier.

Statements after the match:

Florent Joli (player Montpellier): It was quite a good match, but not like the one we had won in Kiel. Now we want to continue our series in Kobenhavn next weekend. It will be tough, but we will try all we can.

Mladen Bojinovic (Serbian player Montpellier): You have to play professional and without emotion for your home country in such a match. I am happy that Belgrade have qualified for the VELUX EHF Champions League and I am happy that we won two points against them.

TEXT: Björn Pazen