Göppingen take the fortress KoperArticle
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Three teams are equally in lead in Group A of Men’s EHF Cup – First victory for Prešov

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Göppingen take the fortress Koper

After three rounds, three teams are leading Group A of the Men’s EHF Cup by the same number of points, after Cimos Koper were defeated on home ground by Göppingen. La Rioja took an easy-going victory, while Prešov took their first points in the Group Phase.

Group A:

RK Cimos Koper (SLO) vs. Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) 36:39 (14:22)

Everything is fully open in Group A before the one week break: As Frisch Auf Göppingen won at before unbeaten team of Cimos Koper, the three top teams have 4 points each on their account.

Even eleven goals of top scorer Dean Bombac were not enough for the Slovenian hosts to break the resistance of the defending champions of the old format of the EHF Cup. In a match full of speed and goals, Horák, Marković and Oprea each scored seven goals for the Germans, who pre-decided the encounter already by an eight goal gap at the break.

After their defeat at La Rioja Göppingen were fully motivated, as Koper suffered from an injury series, as they had to replace Jure Dobelšek, Uroš Bundala and Nikola Manojlović. Four early Horák goals paved the way for a 11:6 lead for Göppingen, forging ahead to 14:6 after only 19 minutes.

After the break Cimos Koper improved, while Göppingen easily defended the lead and had never been endangered despite the quite close final result.

Naturhouse La Rioja (ESP) vs. Eskilstuna Guif (SWE) 29:23 (17:13)

Although a huge number of players had been infected by a virus before, Naturhouse La Rioja took their second straight home victory after beating Göppingen last week. In an easy way they left Guif Eskilstuna chanceless – so the Swedish team still remain on the bottom of this group by zero points.

The Spaniards could count on the seven goals of Serb Marko Ćuruvija, who become top scorer of his team, while Heimir Heimisson added another eight goals on his tally for Guif, being overall top scorer of his team by 21 goals after three matches.

Only in the first 15 minutes, La Rioja had problems with their opponent, which often used a seventh field player in attack instead of a goalkeeper. After the break the Spaniards decided the match very early and ran down the clock without getting endangered.

Group B:

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs. Tatran Prešov (SVK) 27:32 (10:15)

By taking their first victory, Slovak champions Tatran Prešov have a little piece of hope for reaching the quarter-finals, as for HC Motor Zaporozhye the chances are close to zero after their third defeat in the third match.

Prešov were in lead all the time. Thanks to their stronger defence, the gap was already five goals at the break, before the Slovakian visitors had their best period in this match, forging ahead to the first double-figured result at 26:16. Intermediately Motor managed to close the gap to only four goals at 25:29, but in the final stages, Prešov again were the clear better team.

Radoslav Antl (9) and Tomáš Urban (7) exactly scored half of the Tatran goals, while Sergij Burka became best Motor scorer by five goals.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br