Kadetten nearly through to Last 16Article
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Schaffhausen win direct encounter against Chambery, whilst both Russian teams keep the flames of hope burning and Koper tie in Hamburg.

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Kadetten nearly through to Last 16

After a real thriller against Chambery Thursday evening, Kadetten Schaffhausen can now only miss out on the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16 mathematically if in the final round, Round 10, the French runners-up catch-up by earning two points, scoring 44 more goals than the Swiss and Kadetten would also have to lose as Chambery faces Bosna and Kadetten goes up against Zagreb.

In other news, MKB Veszprem missed their second match point to secure a place in the knock-out stage by losing at Chekhovskie Medvedi. St. Petersburg, the second Russian team, still can hope to proceed after winning in Constanta.

Cimos Koper earned one very important point in the race for second place in Hamburg, while Atletico Madrid has become the winner of Group B.

Group A:

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs. Chambery Savoie (FRA) 28:24 (15:12)

A Hitchcock thriller in the BBC Arena with a happy ending for Kadetten Schaffhausen: Thanks to a final save by goalkeeper Vascekivius, the Swiss champions won the direct encounter and have nearly passed through the gate to the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League. In a hectic final stage of the match, the Lithuanian goalkeeper saved Schaffhausen's four goal lead, which was enough after the 29:33 defeat in the first leg.

A storm of joy broke out at the blow of the final whistle as Kadetten players jumped on top of their goalkeeper – but Schaffhausen had missed the chance for an earlier decision: Line player Iwan Ursic missed the great chance to secure an even bigger victory with a score of 28:23. In the final minute, the Swiss champs were down 2 players on the field when Chambery tightened the score to 28:24 and had the last attack – with a seventh field player on the court.

Right after the break, Kadetten had already been ahead with a five goal margin at 17:12 – and even as Chambery came close several times, the five goal difference was once again on the score board with four minutes left and a score of 27:22.

On Saturday, if Sävehof simply walks away with a draw at Bosna, the Swedes will have made their way to the knock-out stage, and Chambery needs a miracle to proceed.

Group B:

Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs. MKB Veszprem (HUN) 30:26 (13:13)

The Russian Bears are back in the race for the Last 16 and are putting pressure on Füchse Berlin (9 points like Medvedi) and Kielce (8 points), going into their respective matches in Round 9.

Due to their second straight defeat after losing at home against Kielce, Veszprem (10 points) missed their second match and opportunity to qualify for the knock-out stage – Atletico Madrid has already been declared the winner of Group B.

Apart from the Spaniards, no other team has yet to make their way to the next stage in the “group of death”, where nearly every team can beat any other opponent.

Chekhovskie had a great start and extended the margin to five goals fairly early (10:5 and 12:7) before the Hungarians were able to catch up to an even score at the break. Coincidentally, the second half started just like the first – with a clear Medvedi lead in minute 42 (22:16). But again, Veszprem proved to have a fighting spirit, although unlike the first half, they were not able to catch up.  They only tightened the gap to a two goal difference intermediately (25:27 and 26:28 in minute 58). In the end, a double strike from Siarhei Harbok (five goals in total) decided the game and brought Medvedi back on their way to the Last 16.

Top scorers were Gabor Csaszar (seven goals for Veszprem) and Filipow (six goals for Medvedi). Thanks to the 30:26 score, Chekhovskie Medvedi won the direct encounter after the 22:24 defeat in the first leg in Hungary. As the Russians have their last Group match in Round 10 in Kielce, Veszprem will host Group winner Madrid.

Statements after the match:

Vladimir Maximov, coach Chekhovskie Medvedi: "Our defence won the match today by intercepting and taking balls from the opponent. Siarhei Harbok also scored decisive goals at crucial moments.''

Lajos Mocsai, coach MKB Veszprem: "It was an intense match with two well-prepared teams and strong defencive sides. In the end, the hosts deserved the victory.

Group C:

HSV Hamburg (GER) vs. RK Cimos Koper (SLO) 27:27 (15:14)

The first draw after eight victories for HSV Hamburg and an important point for Cimos Koper: Thanks to two late goals from Milorad Krivokapic and top scorer Matjaz Brumen (seven goals total), the Slovenian champions walked away with a well-earned draw in Germany and are still ahead of Metalurg Skopje with one point as the Macedonians travel to Plock's home turf on Sunday.

Hamburg was already known as the Group C winner as Koper now rank second after this tie.

In the beginning, the guests surprised HSV with a 9:6 lead before the Germans eventually woke up and for the first time carried the lead into the locker rooms (15:14). After the half, HSV was ahead the entire time until minute 53 (23:23), but then quickly increased the difference again to three goals and seemed to be on their way to a victory at 26:23. But thanks to Koper's fighting spirit, two saves from goalkeeper Gorazd Skof and a tactical time-out five seconds before the end, the Slovenians celebrated a well-earned draw, which was certianly not expected three minutes before the final blow of the whistle.

HCM Constanta (ROU) vs. St. Petersburg HC (RUS)  24:26 (9:12)

The Russian runners-up still can hope to qualify for the Last 16 – but St. Petersburg do not quite hold their fate in their own hands. Ranking fifth with five points, they are still two points below Wisla Plock. The Russians can only proceed to the knock-out stage if Plock loses against Metalurg on Sunday and again one week later in the direct duel against them.

However, coach Dimitry Torgowanov had something to celebrate on Thursday evening as it was his team's first away victory this VELUX EHF Champions League season.

In a close and highly intense game, the match winner for the Russians was goalkeeper Vadim Bogdanov, whose saves gave his team the confidence they needed to win.  The guests, who had several man disadvantages after the break withstood the fierce attacks and pressure from HCM Constanta.

TEXT: Björn Pazen