Kielce, Chambéry make it four in a rowArticle
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The champions of Poland recorded the fourth victory in a row, the French runners-up fourth defeat

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Kielce, Chambéry make it four in a row

Only four teams can pride themselves with a perfect record after first four rounds. Vive Targi Kielce joined FC Barcelona Intersport, HC Metalurg and MKB Veszprém KC on Sunday evening as the Polish champions beat hosts Chambéry Savoie 36:26 in the ehfTV Match of the Week. Kielce took the top position of Group C but only by a goal difference ahead of the new season´s surprise package from Skopje.

A win and nothing else – that was what the Chambéry players were after, following three defeats in a row in the Group Phase, but eventually they had to settle with the fourth and the most lopsided loss in their current streak.

The game started at high speed. The Polish star-studded team was into the game right from the start: saves from Sławomir Szmal allowed Ivan Čupić to score on fast-breaks and after six minutes Kielce were already ahead by four goals (6:2). But Edin Bašić objected and scoring two goals in a row he put his team behind by just one goal after twelve minutes.

Chambéry was showing their trademark defensive intensity, sadly for them, they were missing too many easy shots, like the two seven-meters they failed to execute in the first quarter of the game. Given their different results they had in the previous VELUX EHF Champions League games, the score was surprisingly tied.

The Chambéry's pivots were especially very good, with no difference if it was Grégoire Detrez or Bertrand Gille. But in the last five minutes of the first half, Chambéry lost balls due to bad passing. Michał Jurecki and Rastko Stojković scored two goals to give their team a three goals advantage before teams left to dressing rooms (15:18).

The beginning of the second half was a lot less fluid. Both teams were making offensive fouls, and two-minute suspensions were piling up. Tiredness was playing its role, and both offenses were having difficulties finding solutions.

But Kielce were taking advantage of numerous fast-breaks and for the second time of the game, Manuel Štrlek put his team four goals ahead after 39 minutes. Mario Cavalli was trying everything in his power, gradually deploying all his players to find a solution. But when it was not Bartosz Jurecki, it was Ivan Čupić or Tomasz Rosiński scoring.

Thanks to their efficiency and to Szmal and his countless saves, Kielce made a run to seven goal difference (26:19), fifteen minutes from the end of the game. Their veteran Uroš Zorman, coming back from the bench for the last ten minutes, showed everyone all his skills, scoring and passing with same ability. It was him that scored the goal that put Chambéry ten goals behind, eight minutes from the end of the game.

Bogdan Wenta then took the opportunity to make lots of substitutions, even giving a little bit of time to Grzegorz Tkaczyk, back from an injury. Final score was 36:26 for Kielce, showing the difference between a team which is a strong contender for the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and a team struggling in the VELUX EHF Champions League at the moment.

“We have regrets because we were playing well in the first half. We missed a lot of chances in the second half: we were tired because of Thursday's match against Paris, we didn't have any rotations. We try to find solutions, but we've got a lot of problems at the moment. It's really becoming hard to think about the qualification right now. Kielce showed us tonight that they are a real contender for the Final4 tonight,” the Chambéry´s goalkeeper Cyril Dumoulin said.

TEXT: Kevin Domas / br