Six teams through to Last 16Article
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Kiel and Kobenhavn win, whilst both French teams lose on Round 7 of the VELUX EHF Champions League

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Men's News

Six teams through to Last 16

As 20 of 24 have their EHF EURO break now after Round 7 of the VELUX EHF Champions League, already six of 16 teams have qualified for the Last 16: HSV Hamburg, FC Barcelona Intersport, Atletico Madrid, RK Zagreb, Cimos Koper and HC Metalurg.

On Sunday Kiel, Kobenhavn and Leon took huge steps towards the knock-out stage, whilst the defeat series of the French teams Chambery and Montpellier continued.

Group A:

IK Sävehof (SWE) vs. Chambery Savoie (FRA) 32:31 (17:18)

Huge surprise by the Swedish champions, big disappointment for the French runners-up: By beating Chambery, Sävehof now is equal in points and distanced their biggest opponent for the last 16, Schaffhausen, by two points. For Chambery it was the third straight defeat. The only positive fact for the French: After the 33:30 in the first match they have won the direct encounter against the Swedish champions.

Chambery had started strong, led by four goals in the middle of the first half. But from minute to minute Sävehof improved – and after the break the match was on the edge. Emil Berggren was the match winner for Sävehof, as he scored the decisive 32:31 by a direct free throw in the last second.

Group B:

Vive Targi Kielce (POL) – Füchse Berlin (GER) 32:29 (15:17)

The Polish champions continued on home ground, where they had ended in Madrid: Thanks to a strong performance after the break they took those highly important two points against disappointed Füchse. Due to this victory Kielce is only one point below the Germans and the fourth rank – group B will have tension until the very last match.

The starting period was even, but then Füchse took over the control and led 15:11, thanks to the saves of goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter. But after the break Kielce coach took the decisive decision, as Marcus Cleverly came between the goal bars. His saves gave confidence to his team, which led 22:21 for the first time. As Berlin could not cope with the stronger Kielce defence, the Poles took the points well deserved in the end.

Bjerringbro Silkeborg (DEN) vs. MKB Veszprem (HUN) 19:25 (5:14)

Veszprem remain the only hunter of the already qualified leader Atletico Madrid after the results of Round 7. After their clear victory they are two points below the Spaniards. Silkeborg now is officially out of the race for the Last 16, still waiting for their first point.

The Danes seemed to be off the court in the first half, when Veszprem easily made their way to an early decision. After 25 minutes they led 12:3 as Silkeborg did not score for 13 minutes, and until the break, Silkeborg had scored only five goals – and the margin was nine.

It was a totally different Bjerringbro-Silkeborg who started the second half. In the first five minutes they scored five consecutive goals and came back to 14:10. Sadly for the Danes they could not hold on and after the first quarter of the second half Veszprem was back with a big 20:12 lead. Despite no points in the whole VELUX EHF Champions League, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg still fought well. Niklas Landin saved brilliant and with 10 minutes until the end Bjerringbro-Silkeborg was back at 21:17 after some counter goals by Fredrik Petersen and Dennis Kirkegaard. Again they could not make it to the end and Veszprem came in front by 23:17. Top scorers were Marko Vujin (Veszprem/9 goals) and Zvizej and Petersen with each four goals for Silkeborg. But best Veszprem player was goalkeeper Mirko Allilovic.

Statements after the match:

Lajoc Mocsai, coach Veszprem: We knew that we played against a good opponent. Bjerringbro-Silkeborg has a strong team with a great concept. They have skillful goalkeepers and they are good in defense. Today we controlled the first half, and after the five straight goals of the Danes in the second half we found our rhythmagain. I am satisfied because we remain on the second place but having still three tough matches ahead.

Carsten Albrektsen, Coach Bjerringbro-Silkeborg: I am very disappointed of our play in the first half. It was horrible and it is the worst we have ever played in the VELUX EHF Champions League. Veszprem was good in their defense in the first half and it was that why they won the game. The second half was just cosmetic.

Group D:

Montpellier MAHB (FRA) vs. THW Kiel (GER) 31:34 (17:16)

Third straight defeat, first home defeat in this season – Montpellier have lost their rhythm in the VELUX EHF Champions League completely. The match in Perols was on the edge for 60 minutes – and in the end THW Kiel took revenge for the 23:24 home defeat in the first match and even won the direct encounter against the French champions. 

THW secured the second rank below Kobenhavn, so the last match in this year – the postponed game of both contenders in Kiel on 18 December – will be a real clash of the titans.  Montpellier have the chance to take back the points on home ground on 18 December, when they face Szeged.

Two Frenchmen – Thierry Omeyer and Daniel Narcisse – decided the match in Montpellier. The host started better, led 12:9, but when Omeyer had found his rhythm, Kiel stroke back. Thanks to a final second goal of William Accambray, Montpellier led at the break.  In minute 36 Kiel took the lead for the first time at 20:19 – and did not give it from their hands until the end.

But the French champions knew that they had to win to improve their base for the last 16, so they fought hard, and the final stage was a thriller on world class level. But especially in the last minutes Omeyer shut the shop and saved the two points for his team – against the club to which he will return in 2013. Latest 35 seconds before the end, when Kiel scored the 34:31 the winner was known.

Pick Szeged (HUN) vs. AG Kobenhavn (DEN) 31:34 (17:19)

Kobenhavn made a huge, but intense step towards the Last 16 – and again Mikkel Hansen was the match winner with nine goals at Szeged. Being aware that the Hungarians are strong at home, the Danes played concentrated, but had to break a huge resistance of the host, for which Buday and Sulc scored each eight goals.

The Danes were leading 8:4, before Pick improved and equalized at the 11:11, before the roller coaster turned again, and Kobenhavn took a two goal margin to the dressing rooms. In the second half Szeged was on eye level and – like in the match against Montpellier – close to a sensation. But thanks to some impressive Hansen shots the Danes decided the game at 34:30.

Statements after the match:

Magnus  Andersson, coach Kobenhavn: I am very very happy that we could win this tough game. We saw the Pick-Montpellier match so we expected this. Our defence in the second half was very good and we could score easy goals and these were key factors of the victory.

László Skaliczki, coach Szeged: First of all congratulations to Kobenhavn. Their strategy was better than ours. In the first half we run after the result and we could not execute what we planned. Moreover when we lead the match we were not lucky.

RK Partizan Beograd (SRB) vs. Ademar Leon(ESP) 24:27 (10:14)

Thanks to their victory Leon is on straight course to the Last 16 one point below Kobenhavn and equal with Kiel (but both having one match less). The victory in Belgrade was never endangered. But the Serbian host played well and was close the whole time, but still have zero points on their account.

Text: Björn Pazen

TEXT: Andrew McSteen