Berlin and Skjern overcome injury troubleArticle
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REVIEW: In spite of injury problems, Füchse Berlin and Skjern Håndbold managed to land victories in the EHF Cup on Saturday
»2013-14 Men's News

Berlin and Skjern overcome injury trouble

Despite injuries suffered by several key players, Füchse Berlin and Skjern Håndbold managed to win their away matches in the EHF Cup Saturday.

Füchse were hit by injury to no less than three key players, as left backs Pavel Horak and Paul Drux had joined back court colleague Sven-Sören Christophersen in the stands.

Still, the team from the German capital was able to secure their second win in succession in Group D, as they won as clearly as 33:27 in Slovakia against HC Sporta Hlohovec.

Skjern Håndbold had back court players Daniel Svensson and Kasper Søndergaard injured before and at the beginning of their Group B game in FYR Macedonia against HC Zomimak-M, but still the Danes managed to get their first win in the group phase through a narrow 24:23 victory.

In the other Group B match Saturday, Montpellier Agglomeration HB overcame a weak period in the middle of the game in Portugal to beat Sporting CP 30:27 and take the lead of the group.

Group B:

Sporting CP (POR) vs Montpellier Agglomeration HB (FRA) 27:30 (14:14)

Montpellier are on top of the group, but they had to struggle in Portugal against Sporting who had opened the group phase with a stunning 32:25 away against Denmark's current number one, Skjern Håndbold.

The beginning of the match in the Pavilho Desportivo Municipal de Mafra was nervous and characterised by series of missed opportunities and technical mistakes on both sides.

Montpellier seemed to get to their game first and went 14:9 ahead – only to see the hosts score the next eight goals in the match.

First Sporting changed the 9:14 deficit into a draw at 14:14 at half-time and as the home team also scored the first three goals after the break, the score was suddenly 17:14 for Sporting.

That lead was even increased to four at 21:17, before a strong finish from Montpellier secured the French team their second win out of two in the group.

With no less than 12 goals, centre back Diego Simonet played a great part in the win for the away team.

HC Zomimak-M (MKD) vs Skjern Håndbold (DEN) 23:24 (11:12)

While warming up for the match, Skjern had back court player Daniel Svensson injured, and six minutes into the game, right back and Danish international Kasper Søndergaard also had to leave the court due to injury.

Despite this handicap, the Danes still managed to get their first win in the group phase through a hard-fought 24:23 against the Macedonian side.

The Sport Hall Strumica had a new floor for the occasion, and at first the visitors seemed to like it best, as the 1,700 spectators saw Skjern get up by 12:7, before a strong finish to the first half from the home team reduced the distance to one goal at half time.

The last minutes of the game became a nail biting thriller, as Zomimak managed to catch up with the four goal lead which Skjern managed to re-establish early in the second half.

However, as  Danish international Henrik Møllgaard gave Skjern the renewed lead at 24:23 with one and half minute left, this turned out to be the decision, bringing Skjern on two points and leaving Zomimak on zero.

“I am very proud of the way we handled the pressure. We showed coolness and kept looking for the opportunities, but we also had the luck. The injuries put us under pressure and forced us to find alternative line-ups. We solved that very well,” Skjern coach Ole Nørgaard said.

Group D

HC Sporta Hlohovec (SVK) vs Füchse Berlin (GER) 27:33 (11:18)

Füchse were handicapped by injuries by three players, as they went to Slovakia for meet Sport Hlohovec.

Left backs Pavel Horak and Paul Drux had joined company with their long-term injured back court colleague Sven-Sören Christophersen in the standings, but at least Polish centre back Bartlomiej Jaszka had overcome his back problems and was able to play.

And the players who were fit turned out to be enough to do the job in Slovakia and secure the Berlin foxes their second consecutive win. After an equal start, Füchse took a clear lead already from the middle of the first half, and after being seven goals ahead at half time, the German team increased the gap to nine goals before allowing the hosts to put a little cosmetic on the result.

The result brings Füchse on top of Group D – at least until the Sunday match between Chambéry Savoie Handball and HCM Constanta – while the 1,972 spectators in the City sport hall of Hlohovec had to realise that their team must wait for their first points in the group phase.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor