Skjern suffer first defeat, Schaffhausen take first pointArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: Three teams are on four points after the third round of VELUX EHF Champions League matches.

Skjern suffer first defeat, Schaffhausen take first point

HC Motor Zaporozhye join Skjern Handbold and HC Metalurg on four points after three matches in Group D, with a 31:26 win for the Ukrainian champions against Skjern Sunday afternoon.

In the second of Sunday’s matches Kadetten Schaffhausen earned their first point with a 31:31 away draw against HCM Baia Mare.

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs Skjern Handbold (DEN) 31:26 (15:13)

"He is the hardest shooting handball player I have ever seen – and I have seen a few,” Skjern coach Ole Norgaard said about Motor left back Sergii Burka before the match in EksFors Ice Terminal Brovary on the outskirts of Kiev on Sunday.

With six goals, the 208 cm Ukrainian proved Norgaard right and played a big part in Motor’s five-goal win. However, it was more or less the one-man show from Aidenas Malasinskas in the second half that sealed the victory for the home team.

Motor were leading by two to four goals throughout the first half, but Skjern got the better start to the last 30 minutes. Skjern left wing Bjarke Christensen gave the visitors their first and only lead in the match, at 21:20 with 17 minutes left. But the Danish side were missing their captain Thomas Klitgaard, who sustained a shoulder injury in a league match during the week and is particularly important in the centre of their 6-0 defence.

That was the moment Malasinskas really showed his skills – with eight goals within the last 30 minutes, the 29-year-old Lithuanian centre back made a strong contribution to reclaiming the advantage for Motor.

“It was too bad for us to lose by five. However, we missed too many opportunities and had too few saves. They simply came with more physical strength than we were able to resist,” Skjern’s right back Kasper Sondergaard told Danish TV.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) 31:31 (16:18)

Kadetten took their first Champions League point this season, managing a draw in Romania after a nail-biting finish. The Swiss champions were close to the win, leading 31:30 in the last minute, but Baia Mare closed the gap and forced Kadetten to split the points.

Kadetten were leading throughout almost the entire first half, several times by a convincing four goals, but a scoring drought that lasted for the first seven minutes of the second half cost them the upper hand – Baia Mare used this period to change their two-goal deficit at half-time into a two-goal lead.

If the enthusiastic home crowd though this meant the win for their heroes, they were proven wrong. Even when Baia Mare were two goals up at 30:28, Kadetten were not beaten. Three goals in succession brought the visitors close to the win, before the hosts managed to equalise at the end with a penalty goal from Tamas Ivancsik.

With eight goals, experienced left wing Manuel Liniger played a big part in Kadetten’s first point of the tournament. Right wing Ivancsik and left back Vladislav Ostroushko both reached the same tally for Baia Mare; the Romanian side now follow right after the top trio of the group with three points.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg