Double joy in Hungary: Veszprém first, Szeged throughArticle
«Go back

MKB win top duel against Madrid, while Pick take the profit of the clear Schaffhausen defeat at Zagreb

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Men's News

Double joy in Hungary: Veszprém first, Szeged through

MKB Veszprém are winner of Group B, Pick Szeged are in the Last 16, Vive Targi Kielce make history, HC Metalurg finish second, Zagreb are victorious after four month again and Schaffhausen are out of the race for the knock-out stage – those were the decisions taken on Saturday afternoon in today’s first three matches of Round 10 of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Pick Szeged took the profit from the Schaffhausen defeat at Zagreb and are through to the knock-out stage even before they play their last match at Berlin on Sunday. Kielce won their tenth match and Veszprém easily beat Madrid to finally finish first in their group.

Group B:

MKB Veszprém (HUN) vs. Atlético Madrid (ESP) 26:19 (12:8)

THW Kiel’s coach Alfred Gislason was right, as he predicted a clear Veszprém victory – after this triumph the Hungarian champions finish on top of Group B by 18 of 20 possible points, only beaten by THW, who finish second ahead of Madrid and Celje.

Like in the weeks before László Nagy was on highest level for Veszprém. Not only his goals, but also his defence organisation made Atlético trail by four goals at the break. The hosts started with a solid rock defence blocking the Madrid attempts in the opening stage and forging ahead to 7:3 in minute 14.

Although the Spanish club improved after the 11:6 they were again shocked by a severe goalkeeper injury: First Jose Javier Hombrados in October (rupture of the crucial ligament) then the late arrival Magnus Dahl and now the even later arrival Adnan Šabanović. In minute 24 he twisted his knee when trying to save a shot – and had to be carried off the court, replaced by 18-year-old last option Antonio Diaz. But despite this injury Atlético were able to reduce to four goals against their former team mate Chema Rodriguez.

And “baby-face” Diaz did well after the break, saving some important shots and boosting the confidence of his team, which took the profit and reduced to only 12:14 in minute 36. But from that moment on, Veszprém found their rhythm again, marching away to 20:16 in minute 46 and causing a time-out of Talant Dujshebaev. But nothing changed. When Rodriguez scored to 22:16 in minute 52, the Veszprém victory was secured, finally the distance were seven goals and the Hungarians had taken their ninth win in their tenth match much easier than expected.

Top scorers were Christian Ugalde with six goals and Nagy (5) for MKB, Masachs netted four times for Madrid.

Group C:

Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs. Vive Targi Kielce (POL) 25:29 (14:13)

Vive Targi Kielce have made history in Velenje: As only second team ever since the change of the playing system of the VELUX EHF Champions League in 2009 the Polish club kept a full clean sweep and won all ten Group Phase. The only team to achieve this record before were Ciudad Real in the 2009/10 season.

Additionally, the Poles will get a big “thanks” from Metalurg Skopje, as due to this result, the Macedonians already secured the second position in this group though they have their final match against Bjerringbro ahead on Sunday. Velenje will be in pot 3 at the draw on Tuesday together with the other third ranked teams of Chekhovskie Medvedi, Atlético Madrid and Dinamo Minsk. Velenje and Metalurg have 12 points on their account, but Skopje had won the direct encounter and will be in “the German” pot 2 with THW Kiel, Füchse Berlin and either SG Flensburg-Handewitt or HSV Hamburg.

Read more about the Match of the Week here

Group D:

RK Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (CRO) vs. Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) 38:30 (20:13)

There might be a "champagne or beer transfer” from Szeged to Zagreb in the next days, as the Hungarians could celebrate their qualification for the Last 16 already on Saturday evening, about 24 hours before they play their final match at Berlin.

Thanks to the clear Zagreb victory – the first in the VELUX EHF Champions League since October – Szeged are already confirmed as fourth ranked team in this group. After seven straight defeats Zagreb showed moral and character, while the Swiss champions resigned already after 25 minutes – and finally even were overtaken by the Croats in the ranking and finish sixth and last in this group. After two knock-out participations in a row Kadetten are not among the best 16 teams.

The Croats played a fast and furious first half, building the base for the clear victory. After a 4:1 start, Schaffhausen were close to the host at 4:3 for the last time. Then the Swiss champions, who urgently needed a victory to remain in the race for the Last 16, were much too hectic and nervous in attack, as Zagreb showed their best performance in the top European club competition since months.

Counting on a strong goalkeeping and a movable and anticipating defence, the Croats did not allow Schaffhausen to find their rhythm. And after the 12:10 in minute 20, the host overran the Kadetten like a tornado.

Schaffhausen were close to get crazy in attack, losing nearly every ball, and Zagreb punished every turnover with needle-pin counter-attacks. RK scored a pre-decisive 8:1 series until the 20:13 at the break, leaving the Swiss champions behind not only trailed, but resigned and completely down on the floor.

Then it only took eight minutes to double-figure the result at 26:16 – making the fans on the stands jump for joy.

But suddenly the hope and the fighting spirit re-appeared at Kadetten, while Zagreb decelerated and lacked concentration. And suddenly the big gap was gone nine minutes before the end, when Schaffhausen reduced to 31:26 by the sixth goal of Alexandar Stojanović. RK coach Slavko Goluža had seen enough and gave his players a loud reminder in his time-out.

His speech was the wake-up bell for his players, who stopped the downswing and finally had decided the match at 35:28 four minutes before the end. Top scorers were the Croats Andrija Pendić (Schaffhausen/9 goals) and Stipe Mandalinić (Zagreb/8).

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br