Away wins galore as Brest earn their best start everArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: Meshkov Brest and Porto recorded important away wins as the Belarusian champions are dominating the rankings.

Away wins galore as Brest earn their best start ever

HC Meshkov Brest are cruising in VELUX EHF Champions League Group C after recording their third consecutive win, a record for the Belarusian champions.

But Futebol Clube de Porto are close behind with four points, as the Portuguese side survived a late comeback from Vojvodina in Novi Sad.


Chehovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) 27:33 (14:17)

When HC Meshkov Brest made their debut in the European flagship competition 11 years ago, the Belarusian champions lost both their games against their Russian counterparts, Chehovskie Medvedi.

However, it appears the times have changed and Brest have improved dramatically.

Brest’s 33:27 win against Medvedi was their third consecutive positive result, the best achievement for the Belarusian side after six seasons in the EHF Champions League.

The away side dominated the game from the beginning, giving up the lead only once during the third minute when Medvedi took a 3:2 advantage.

An astonishing 85% shot efficiency in the first half propelled Brest to a 17:14 lead at half-time with Medvedi failing to provide an adequate response.

The pace slowed a little in the second half however Brest’s back line continued to plow through the Russian defence.

Fully exploiting his towering 2.13m, Dainis Kristopans was unstoppable on the right side, scoring all of his eight shots.

On the left side, Pavel Atman contributed to the scoreboard five times. Line player, Rastko Stojkovic, had the most impressive scoresheet, bagging a game-high ten goals.

Brest’s win means that the Belarusian side maintains its lead in Group C rankings, as Chehovskie Medvedi are slowly starting to lose contact with the top, after their second consecutive loss.

HC Vojvodina (SRB) vs Futebol Club de Porto (POR) 23:27 (8:14)

Fresh from a win against Chehovskie Medvedi, RK Vojvodina were trying to emulate the result against Porto in their first ever encounter in the European top flight competition.

However, their plan seemed to be doomed from the start.

The guests jumped the gun to a 4:0 lead after merely 200 seconds of play.

Vojvodina tried to bounce back but their efforts hit a wall as Porto’s defence was flawless in the first half, conceding only one goal between the ninth and the 22nd minute.

On the other side, a free-flowing attack, combined with lethal counter-attacks meant that Porto were calmly leading 14:8 at half-time.

It looked like Porto were on par for a record breaking win, as the Portuguese side was cruising, 22:13 in the 43th minute.

But the game was far from over. While Ricardo Costa substituted his first-choice players, a late surge for Vojvodina saw the lead decrease to only two goals, 24:22, with six minutes to spare.

Unfortunately for the home side, the last-minute drama failed to materialise.

The Serbian side could not carry on the rhythm for the final minutes and Porto got away with a 27:23 win after Hugo Madeira, the team’s goalkeeper, sealed the gate.

"We played very well until 50 minutes, then we lost a lot of balls. This was an important victory." said Madeira, after the game.

Gilberto Brito Duarte and Antonio Rodrigues Areia were Porto’s top scorers, with five goals apiece.

The Portuguese side confirmed their second win in three games to climb up to second place in the rankings.

Head coach of Vojvodina, Nikola Markovic, expressed his thoughts on their defeat. "Our game was not good in the first half. We made a lot of mistakes. In the second half we started to play the way we want. However, it's hard to catch an advantage of the opponent throughout the whole game. This was a new experience for us."


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ec