La Rioja finish strongly to overcome Meshkov BrestArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: La Rioja ruin Meshkov Brest's perfect start to their Champions League campaign by beating them 33:31.


Angel Fernandez and Cristian Malmagro combined to score 16 goals and inspired a second half comeback breaking Meshkov Brest's record winning streak in Group C of the VELUX EHF Champions League with a 33:31 win on Wednesday.

Despite the surprising defeat, the Belarusian champions are still ahead of the Spanish side in Group C on goal difference.

Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs La Rioja (ESP) 31:33 (17:15)

La Rioja came from trailing for the majority of the game to win beat Meshkov away from home in the opening match of Round 4.

In the second half, La Rioja were led by Angel Fernandez who scored crucial goals to clinch the match 33:31 in the Spanish side's favour.

La Rioja's coach, Jesus Gonzales, said: "We are very happy to win. Certainly it's not easy to play in Brest, they are a good team and have a good coach.

"Meshkov were very good the first half. And we had some troubles in attack, so we decided to substitute the goalie and it worked well."

Initially, the Spanish side did not allow Brest to jump ahead and kept the score close, despite having problems in attack and trailing for the entire half.

Dainis Kristopans capitalised on La Rioja's wastefulness early in the second half and gave Brest a commanding 23:18 lead with his powerful effort in 38th minute.

However Brest began to falter as they failed to score for eight minutes opening the door for La Rioja's comeback.

Perez Fernandez immediately took control scoring three consecutive goals that gave the Spanish side a two-goal lead.

In the 56th minute Viachaslau Shumak was suspended, La Rioja used the man advantage to once again take a two goal lead.

Simon Razgor then scored from a 7m throw a minute before the end meaning the hosts trailed by just a single goal but they were unable to score again to draw level.

Brest were victims of making too many technical faults, their final fault costing them their chance to equalise.

Angel Fernandez then swiftly converted a counter attack to finish the game at 31:33, moving his personal tally for the encounter to seven.

Pavel Atman was the leading scorer for Brest with six goals.

TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / gs