Barcelona outplay Alingsas, Plock close in on Last 16Article
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GROUP B REVIEW: Orlen Wisla Plock extremely close to Last 16 after snatching an away win in Turkey, while Barcelona steamroll Alingsas in the second half

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Men's News

Barcelona outplay Alingsas, Plock close in on Last 16

Orlen Wisla Plock took a major and perhaps even decisive step towards the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League, as they won 33:30 away against Besiktas MOGAZ HT, but the Polish win was only secured way into the second half.

Like in so many home games before, FC Barcelona outran and outplayed their opponents in the second half. Alingsas managed to follow the Spanish home team until half-time, but were without a chance in the last 30 minutes.

VELUX EHF Champions League Group B

Besiktas MOGAZ HT (TUR) vs Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 30:33 (14:15)

Orlen Wisla Plock are extremely close to the Last 16 after their three-goal win in Istanbul Saturday afternoon.

Being five points ahead of Besiktas and Alingsas allows the Polish runners-up to see the knock-out matches appearing very clearly in the horizon.

However, it took Plock some time to overcome the Turkish champions.

After a couple of two goal leads for the visitors at the start, Besiktas came back, and after 12 minutes and 24 seconds, their Croatian left wing Ivan Nincevic gave them their first lead at 8:7.

The hosts also went ahead 9:8, before Plock managed to tighten the grip, mainly thanks to a series of saves by Marcin Wichary who took over in goal at the middle of the first half.

This brought the away team up by three goals at 12:9 and 13:10, but again, Besiktas fought their back into the game, and after being down by only one at half-time, they stole ahead again in the second half at 18:17 and 19:18.

That was as long at the home team was able to hold on, though.

Plock proved to be physically stronger and generally in possession of more resources, and a strong period from the Polish team around the middle of the second half soon changed 19:18 for Besiktas into a 29:22 lead for Plock.

Of course, this removed any doubt about the final outcome of the match, and even though Besiktas managed to reduce the deficit towards the end, Plock’s win was never in danger again.

The 1,500 spectators saw a player on each team score eight goals each. Line player Tolga Özhabar hit the net eight times for Besiktas, while Romanian right wing Valentin Ghionea reached the same number for the guests.

FC Barcelona (ESP) vs Alinsas HK (SWE) 42:29 (18:17)

The Saturday match in the Palau Blaugrana really looked a lot like many previous home matches Barcelona have played in the competition.

The opponents were able to follow Barcelona in the first half, only to see themselves being outplayed and outrun by the favourites after the break. This Saturday, it was Alingsas’ turn to experience this.

After Barcelona had been a single goal ahead at the start, Max Darj gave the visitors their first lead at 7:6 after 12 minutes and 20 seconds – and when Marcus Enström made it 8:6 37 seconds later, it became a bit too much of a good thing for Barcelona coach Xavier Pascual’s liking, who called a time-out.

This did not help at first, though, as Alingsas increased to 10:7, but when Pascual sent Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson and Kiril Lazarov on, Barcelona soon managed to turn the three-goal deficit into a 13:11 lead.

However, the fighting and tactically clever Swedes were not that easy to shake off and managed to follow Barcelona to half-time only a goal behind, and with every Swedish goal being loudly celebrated by the more than 100 Alingsas fans who had taken the long trip to Barcelona to support their local heroes.

Neither tactical cleverness nor the support from the visiting fans was enough for Alingsas in the second half.

Danijel Saric took over in goal for Barcelona, and on top of his many excellent saves, which made way for a lot of counter attacks, Barcelona’s established attacking play also improved considerably.

Therefore, it was only natural that Barcelona increased their lead throughout the last half hour and finished the match with a clear 13-goal win.

Kiril Lazarov scored no less than 12 goals for Barcelona, while Alingsas had their top scorer in Daniel Tellander with six.

Barcelona are still on top of the group with 13 points from seven matches, while Alingsas are fifth with two points and find themselves in serious danger of elimination.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor