Dunkerque out, Plock closer to Last 16Article
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MATCH REVIEW: In the battle between Polish and French runners-up Plock beat Dunkerque 32:25 are at the Last 16 gate

Dunkerque out, Plock closer to Last 16

Petar Nenadic scored seven goals and Marin Sego added several important saves as Orlen Wisla Plock beat Dunkerque HB Grand Littoral 32:25 in the first match of Group B in 2014.

While Dunkerque have no chance to finish among top four teams of the group, Plock made an important step towards the Last 16 stage and their ticket can be clinched already on Friday, if their domestic rivals Kielce succeed at Porto.

Group B:
Orlen Wisla Plock vs Dunkerque HB Grand Littoral 32:25 (16:13)

At the beginning of the match Guillaume Jolli became the first player of the reigning European champions to enter the VELUX EHF Champions League court after France had won gold in Denmark. At the end his team became the first  to leave the pool of contenders for the knockout stage.

Dunkerque finished the last year on a winning note surprising Kielce and for three quarters of the match in Plock they were not very far from another upset at the Polish expense, with Joli (with 6 goals the best scorer of Dunkerque) leading the charge of the lions from Northern France.

With 16 minutes remaining Oilers were only one goal ahead and their Spanish coach Manuel Cadenas had to use the green time-out card to stop the comeback of the enthusiastically playing guests. His players managed to regroup fast enough to turn the tide and within several minutes they broke the resistance of the visitors.

"We played the first 45 minutes on a good level. We knew it would be difficult and the last 15 minutes really proved to be decisive,“ Dunkerque coach Patrik Cazal said.

Sego's save of Joli's penalty throw less than two minutes left only underlined the momentum of the hosts and started the celebration of the almost sold-out crowd in the Orlen arena.

The new Spanish reinforcement Angel Montoro made his debut in the blue and white uniform, but he has to wait for his first goal for Plock. Nevertheless, Cadenas praised all his players for their effort on the court.

"It was very difficult for us to get these two points. I am very satisfied with my team and every single player of Wisla won this match tonight,“ said Cadenas, who led Spain to bronze medals only a few days ago in Herning.

"We win the game and that is most important for us. We haven't played together for a long time after EURO, but I am happy we got these points. The last 15 minutes were crucial for us and now we have Kolding to think about and we want to focus on this game,“ Nenadic said.

TEXT: Kate Pankowska / br