Nagy seals the deal for Veszprém at MadridArticle
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Hungarians win thriller in Spain, as all three German teams take both points in their Sunday’s matches and Metalurg remain unbeaten.

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Nagy seals the deal for Veszprém at Madrid

A brilliant performance of László Nagy was the key for the Veszprém away victory at Madrid. Like Kiel, Kielce, Metalurg (winner at Bjerringbro) and Barcelona the Hungarians have won all their respective three matches of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Berlin, Flensburg and Hamburg managed to have a perfect German Sunday by three victories.

Group A:
Montpellier Agglomération (FRA) vs. HSV Hamburg (GER) 29:33 (14:16)

The rejuvenated team of MAHB Montpellier still have to wait for their first victory in this VELUX EHF Champions League season. After the opening draw against Flensburg, the French champions lost their second straight home match against Hamburg and remain on the bottom of this group.

MAHB coach Patrice Canayer remained realistic: “To beat Hamburg, we would needed to play on highest level, but unfortunately we were tired after Thursday's game. After that, I'm happy with the quality of how we played. There was some kind of show and I was happy.”
On the other hand ten goals of Hans Lindberg paved the way for the second HSV victory. Together with their Flensburg country-fellows they top the table, unbeaten with five points each.

Hamburg assistant coach Jens Häusler had not been satisfied with everything: “The first 15 minutes we played well and then had problems. We had to play fast to put the Montpellier defence under pressure. We were not as good as I would have thought in the first half. We had a good second half and we are very happy to have won.”

Montpellier had been in lead only in the first two minutes, then the Germans took control of the Match of the Week. The biggest gap were seven goals at 12:5, latest at the score of 27:21 in minute 45 the duel was decided. Best Montpellier scorer was again youngster Matthieu Grébille, striking ten times.

Read the full match review of the Match of the Week on

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs. Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) 36:26 (19:14)

After the draw at Hamburg the hopes of Medvedi were high to gain at least one more point from their „German double“ – but in the end the „Bears“ were tamed by SG Flensburg-Handewitt.

And the Germans had three heroes in this one-sided high-speed match: Goalkeeper Mattias Andersson, who saved 19 shots, and Holger Glandorf and Lasse Svan Hansen, who scored nine goals each.

Medvedi was only on an eye distance until the final equal intermediate result of 10:10 – then Flensburg switched the gear and started their express mode. The counter-attacks by Svan Hansen were like needle-pins, as the Russian attackers failed against Andersson. When the score was 24:16 the fans danced on the stands, and the Russians were down to the ground. Their best scorers were Kovalev, Gorbok and Shelmenko with five goals each.

Group B:
Atlético Madrid (ESP) vs. MKB Veszprém KC (HUN) 26:27 (13:15)

What a return to Spain for László Nagy: In his first match on Spanish ground after moving to Hungary the former FC Barcelona striker played an outstanding match for his new club MKB Veszprém, saving the Hungarians a highly important but also dramatic victory.

Nagy have not only been the top scorer of the match with ten goals, but also scored the final two strikes for Veszprém from 25:26 to 27:26 in the last 70 seconds.

Spanish Veszprém coach Carlos Ortega was fully satisfied, but also praised their opponent: “Atlético Madrid played a real big game, both teams have been performing on highest level for 60 minutes. We were lucky to score the final two goals. It is our advantage that we had more time to prepare for the season compared to Madrid.” But of course Ortega knew whom to thank most of all. “László Nagy has been phenomenal in attack and defence,” he underlined.

His team had turned the game in the middle of the first half, leading closely at the break – and then took the advantage of an injury of Madrid’s goalkeeper Jose Javier Hombrados (pictured on the right), who had to be replaced early by Magnus Dahl. Later-on Atletico’s Dane Nikolaj Markussen had to leave the court due to an injury too.

“Those injuries hit us harder than the defeat, even as we really played bad in the final minutes of this match. In general I am satisfied, as we are still in a period of learning. But losing at home always hurts,” Madrid’s coach Talant Dushebajev said. “In the last six or seven minutes we were unable to play our game,” Atlético player Roberto Garcia Parrondo added.

By a double strike of defence specialist Jakov Gojun Madrid returned in lead at 21:20, and again Gojun netted for the 24:21 ten minutes before the end, when Madrid was clearly in a dominant position.

But then the great show of László Nagy started: Scoring five goals in the final ten minutes he decided this top clash on his own.

Group C:

Bjerringbro Silkeborg (DEN) vs. HC Metalurg Skopje (MKD) 23:26 (14:11)

The support from the stands was great, but in the end Bjerringbro unluckily lost the match against still unbeaten surprise team of Metalurg Skopje, the main hunter of Kielce in this group, as both have the optimum of six points.

Metalurg coach Alexander Petrovski was pleased by the fighting spirit of his team: “In the first 45 minutes it was Bjerringbro-Silkeborg’s game. They did well in counter attacks and they were hard to stop. But in the last 15 minutes we played our game, we played strong and fast and that was why we changed the match. But I think Bjerringbro will go through to the Last 16. We now have six points and we hope to win our next match against St. Petersburg too.”

The first minutes of the game were imprinted by strong defence sides and good goalkeepers -  Jannick Green (Bjerringbro-Silkeborg) and Darko Stanić (HC Metalurg). The Macedonians led 4:2, before the Danes scored four straight goals to turn the game and even extended the gap by Rasmus Lauge to 8:5. But in the final minutes of the first half Stanić did his to bring Metalurg back into the game.

Despite a two minutes suspension for Mads Nielsen the hosts stood well and were away by 17:13. But then the strongest period of Metalurg had come: First they scored three straight goals, then they equalised at 19:19 by Renato Vugrinec and then they took their first lead after the break at 22:21. With Stanić standing like a wall Metalurg drove the winner’s way at 23:21 and decided the match by two goals of Naumče Mojsovski  and Goce Georgievski at 25:21.

Silkeborg coach Carsten Albrektsen could not believe what had happened: “We are very disappointed. We got control at least 45 minutes of the game but it was deciding that we lost our play with a one man advantage. Stanić showed an excellent performance, he is the most important player for Metalurg. We did an excellent first half and we are very disappointed about losing in the last 15 minutes.”

Danish player Nikolaj Øris Nielsen shares the opinion of the coach: “It was a match we had hoped to win. We showed 45 very good minutes and we were in lead for the most of the game but in the last minutes we forgot to successfully finish the fast breaks and we slowed down a bit.”

On the other hand Metalurg player Damir Batinović felt great joy: “We are really happy to win. It was a very important match for us because we want to finish the group ranked first or second, so it were two important points."

Group D:
Pick Szeged (HUN) vs. Füchse Berlin (GER) 22:29 (14:14)

Füchse Berlin have recovered from the clear defeat at Barcelona in Round 2. Thanks to a clear improvement after the break they took the second position in this group with four points now. Pick Szeged remain with two points and could not repeat their victory against Kadetten from the previous week.

“We are happy for the victory and happy for the way we played. Maybe this was the best match for us this season. We started the match with weak defence, but after that we became better and our goalkeeper played very well," Berlin coach Dagur Sigurdsson said.

The Hungarians were on equal level in the first half (14:14). They could easily break through the weak Berlin defence – but failed too often against strong Füchse goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter, who was the reason that his team was not below clearly, but intermediately were away by 10:7.

After the break Berlin strengthened their defence and forced Szeged to some hectic and uncontrolled actions in attack. Those interceptions paved the way for a huge number of counter-attack goals, especially by top scorer Ivan Ninčević (seven goals). But the decisive strikes were done by Spaniard Iker Romero, who scored twice when Berlin were short-handed. Latest at the 24:20 nine minutes before the end, the Hungarians resistance had been broken. The most spectacular goal was scored by goalkeeper Heinevetter, hitting the net from his own half for 28:22. Zsolt Balogh was Szeged’s top scorer with five goals on his account.

“We knew that we would expect a tough match. Füchse have several very good tactics and they played very well. Of course we knew these tactics but we could not do anything against it. We didn’t find the solution for the good defence and for the performance of the goalkeeper. The performance of our back players was not good enough and we could not work together as a team in the second half,” said Pick coach László Skaliczki.

And Szeged’s player Attila Vadkerti added: “We saw that Berlin was very happy for this victory so I think that they were afraid of us a little bit before and during the match. Berlin are a very good team and we can learn from this match. Unfortunately in the Hungarian Championship we cannot play so many good matches than they can in the Bundesliga.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen