Celje shock Löwen to stay in the race for the Last 16Article
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GROUP C MATCH REVIEW: After a loss in the first-leg match against Löwen in Mannheim, Celje beat their visitors on home soil by four goals on Sunday.

Celje shock Löwen to stay in the race for the Last 16

RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko made the best out of a do-or-die situation to beat a disappointing Rhein-Neckar Löwen, who entirely lost focus after an even first 15 minutes in Zlatorog Arena on Sunday.

The victory means the home side remain fifth on the group table, but are only two points behind Löwen and Montpellier, both on six points.

Group C
RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) vs. Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) 32:28 (16:11)

Celje were close to causing an upset in Mannheim last weekend before Löwen pulled off a strong finish to hold back the Slovenian team, but in Celje, nothing could have saved the visitors.

After an even first 15 minutes Celje stepped on the gas and, led by goals from the excellent David Miklavcic and Miha Zarabec, left the lightheaded visitors behind.

Löwen missed too many chances to catch the home side, who were happy to capitalise on Löwen’s technical mistakes and scored easy goals from counter attacks.

The home side had a five-goal lead at the break and looked destined to win the encounter.

The German visitors could not find a way back to the game after half-time either. The visitors recorded a high number of turnovers that enabled the hosts to quickly extend their lead to seven goals, much to the joy of the 3500 Floriani in the stadium.

Mads Mensah Larsen and Uwe Gensheimer tried to keep their team in the game, but despite their shared 13 goals, Löwen looked exhausted and puzzled.

The visitors fought hard but the Slovenian outfit was unrelenting, cruising in to win the match by four goals.

"We let Celje score too many easy goals. At this level, you can’t afford to make so many technical mistakes," said Löwen assistant coach Oliver Roggisch after the game.

Löwen remain third on the table, a single point behind Vardar and level with Montpellier. Celje are in fifth, but Sunday’s win edges them closer to the Last 16.

TEXT: Bence Martha / cg