Metalurg upset home team under AlpsArticle
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Under-strength Chambéry side lost their first match in the VELUX EHF Champions League against Metalurg Skopje (33-30).

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Men's News

Metalurg upset home team under Alps

The first surprising result of the new season came very early. With two of their most experienced players (Bertrand Gille and Damir Bičanić) injured, and two others (Guillaume Gille and Karel Nocar) playing with minor injuries, an under-strength Chambéry lost out 33:30 to Metalurg Skopje in their first VELUX EHF Champions League clash on Sunday.

Coach Mario Cavalli had the give a lot of time to his young players against Metalurg, which might have cost them the victory. Even though Kevynn Nyokas scored six goals in his first match, players like Nguessan proved too inexperienced in the heat of battle and struggled to make decisions at key moments of the game.

"We lacked a bit of quality in attack, I think our young players who discovered this level somehow fell into the trap of the Champions League," said Cavalli afterwards. "We rushed and lost many balls too quickly, and gave them too many fast break opportunities, which is the exact scenario that you want to avoid in Champions League".

Meanwhile Guillaume Gille, Chambéry's centre back and the eldest of three brothers in the team, gave credit to Darko Stanić: "He made some important saves in key moments of the game. Maybe he didn't save 20 goals, but he made five or six very important saves to keep his team’s chances alive when we were aiming to come back."

And his younger brother, Benjamin added: "No one is a firm favourite in this group. But Skopje have got a lot of experienced players which is something we lacked a bit tonight. They've taken their time building their attacks and we weren't able to do that."

Speaking of experience, the last-minute addition of Renato Vugrinec in the Skopje squad proved decisive against Chambéry as he scored four goals. Cavalli added: "We expected to face a great team and we knew that the arrival of Renato Vugrinec this week would be important.

"That being said we did not manage to break the link between their back players and their pivot, although we knew this problem before the game and we worked on it."

And Lino Červar also thought Vugrinec's addition was important: "We knew that he would be a great help, but we really didn't think he would be that quick to adapt. On the other hand, I've been quite dissapointed by some of our young players who didn't play as well as I thought they would."

"Obviously, Chambéry are one of the top teams in Europe and a firm contender to a qualification for the next phase, so to win here is important. It would be good to get another victory next week when we host Velenje," Červar added.

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Photo: Fabrice Rumillat / CSH

TEXT: Kevin Domas