Black Saturday for French teamsArticle
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MATCH REPORT: PSG defeated in Skopje, while Dunkerque unluckily lose home match against Plock – and Barcelona score a new season goal record by 43 goals against Thun.

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Men's News

Black Saturday for French teams

Part 3 of the second round of the VELUX EHF Champions League was played on Saturday – and three of four home teams took the points. The only away winner was Plock – causing one of two French defeats today.

Group A:

RK Pivovarna Lasko Celje (SLO) – St. Petersburg HC (RUS) 29:22 (15:10)

After their close defeat in the neighbour’s duel at Zagreb in the previous round, RK Celje managed to take their first points against Russian runners-up St. Petersburg, who remain on zero points. Nemanja  Zelenovic (Celje) was the best scorer of the match with seven goals, while Igor Polakov netted six times for the Russians, who were close to turning the match right after the break- after four straight goals tomake it 14:16.

But after a time-out by coach Vladan Matic, the Slovenians were woken-up, forging ahead to 19:15 and finally had decided the match at 24:16 in minute 48. Although the guest team reduced the gap intermediately to only four goals, the points for Celje had never been in danger.

Group B:

Dunkerque HB (FRA) – Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 25:28 (13:15)

After being clashed by Polish champions Kielce in Round 1, Dunkerque clearly improved in their first ever VELUX EHF Champions League home match – but finally were beaten by a Polish side again. Orlen Wisla Plock were the winners of a highly close match, in which both sides had the chances to take the victory.

After eliminating Montpellier in the qualification stage, Plock proved that they really like French teams. After an unluckly defeat against Kiel, the victory in Dunkerque was the first Plock win, while the hosts remain on zero points.

Dunkerque, boosted by their fans, had the clearly better start, but when Plock improved, they lacked the means to keep level. But even a 13:15 deficit did not mean much, as Plock could feel the breath of the French runners-ups in their necks – but finally the Poles had the better substitutes and the better individual skills in the last eight minutes to win this crucial encounter. Top scorer of the match was Dunkerques’s Pierre Soudry, hitting the net seven times.

“It was a very important match for us. Dunkerque were a very difficult opponent, which fought very strong. They had a very good defence, so it was difficult to win but we succeeded thanks to our good attack,” said Plock coach Manolo Cadenas.

His Dunkerque’s counter part Patrik Cazal was not satisfied with the outcome of the match:  “It’s a disappointing result. We have nothing to reproach in the energy, in the intention. We badly managed our time and we lost several balls, causing several easy Plock goals. Our team has players with great potential. We have to say that it is the first experience in Champions League for many players of our team.”

Group C:

Metalurg Skopje (MKD) – PSG Paris (FRA) 28:26 (12:12)

After a close and finally lucky win at Wacker Thun, Metalurg Skopje proved their ambitions by taking the scalp of one of the main contenders. With four points the Macedonian champions have the optimum on their account, while Paris still only have those lucky two points, won against Minsk in their opener on home court.

Nearly 7,000 spectators attended the second straight handball deli at Boris Trajkovski arena after the thrilling Vardar – Barcelona draw one week ago.

Renato Vugrinec was Metalurg’s hero, as the Slovenian scored nine times, while on the other hand former Montenegrin international Fehrudin Mehic netted in five times.

Those 6,953 spectators in Skopje caused an incredible noise, pushing their – eventually successful – team to the limit. After completely equal 48 minutes, the 23:22 was the last lead for Paris. While Metalurg goalkeeper Darko Stanic shut up shop, his team mates reached a higher efficiency in attack.

In the final stages were more clever than the “world selection” from the French capital, which could not manage to turn the match again and caused too many failures in attack in the crucial stage.

FC Barcelona (ESP) – Wacker Thun (SUI) 45:26 (18:11)
No team in this season have scored more goals in one match than FC Barcelona, and only two times Barca scored more goals in an international competition before: The spectators in Palau Blaugrana saw 71 goals – and saw the third highest ever Barcelona scoring below a 48:14 against Burgas (Portugal, 2005/06 season) and 46:36 against Kolding, Denmark, 2005/06).

After the draw at Vardar Skopje one week ago, Barcelona showed their real faces against the Swiss champions – aggressive, efficient and successful from the first minute on.

The 5:4 was the final Wacker lead, then Barcelona accelerated and went away to a clear 18:11 advance at the break. The first ever double figure lead was at 24:14 and from that moment on the Barcelona goal machine was in full swing, finally topping the current high score of VELUX EHF Champions League matches of Hamburg (41 against Velenje) by five goals.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor