Porto join leading duo after stunning second halfArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: Vojvodina beat Slovakian champions Tatran Presov while Porto pull it out the bag during the second half against Chekhovskie Medvedi in Saturday's game

Porto join leading duo after stunning second half

It was day of ups and downs in Group C on Saturday as Vojvodina caused the upset in Eastern Slovakia, whilst Porto’s stunning second half performance mean they are on six points level with La Rioja and Meshkov Brest at the top of the Group C. Medvedi are left behind with only one win but the biggest disappointment so far, Presov, have lot to think about as they sit at the bottom of the table with zero points.

Futebol Clube do Porto (POR) vs Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) 31:27  (10:12)

High shot efficiency, attacking variety and physical defence were the main attributes of Chekhovskie Medvedi's first half lead in Porto. However, the youngsters again proved inconsistency in their game blowing up in the second half, taking no points home from the furthest destination for the Moscow club.

Spotlight was on Bears’ best scorer Dmitri Kovalev and Gilberto Duarte before the game. Portuguese left back again proved his quality with six goals, despite Oleg Grams’ great effort in first half. However, the man of the match has a different name on the list today.

Futebol Clube do Porto were slight favourites in what was for them, a good chance to climb up the table and match the top two teams La Rioja and Meshkov Brest with six points.

However, a lack of calmness and problems with the physical defence of the Russian team made Porto work hard in the beginning as they only managed to score three goals in the opening ten minutes. Chernoivanov was leader of the defensive display, scoring twice from the line.

When Kovalev made it 8:3 for Medvedi in the 12th minute, Ricardo Costa took a time out but a great turnaround was yet to come after the break. One can only imagine what he said to Porto players in the dressing rooms but they came out with a completely different approach.  

Two technical faults of Medvedi and Porto levelled the score through quick counter attacks. Medvedi tried to keep it close but Oleg Grams lost his aura as Hugo Santos starred with seven goals together with ever present Gilberto Duarte, supported by continuously improving Alfredo Quintana.  

During the 41st minute, Chernoivanov was sent off after his third suspension which proved to have a negative effect on the Bears’ struggling defence in second half as they could not keep up the pace with the agile Portuguese side. Quick counter attacks supported by powerful shots from the back line, Porto were building on their lead until the end of the match.

Vladimir Maximov tried to stop the home second half party with a time out but Porto were rolling. 

Porto scored amazing 21 goals in second half to keep home all points after 31:26 victory, joining La Rioja and Meshkov Brest at the top of Group C.

Tatran Presov (SVK) vs Vojvodina (SRB) 19:27 (10:14)

Vojvodina caused another upset in VELUX EHF Champions League as they managed to beat Slovakian champion Tatran Presov convincingly by eight goals and are on four points, while their hosts from Prešov remain bottom with none.

Both teams met for second consecutive match, after Thursday's SEHA League clash in Presov (31:20).

The home side were favourites before the game as Vojvodina had never beaten them before, and things looked much brighter for green-white side for the opening stages of the first half.  Prešov quickly grabbed the lead and held onto it until 16th minute, when centre back Bojan Todorovic levelled the score at 7:7.

Vojvodina needed time to adapt into the game, but Filip Marjanovic, their best scorer in the competition, kept them alive and gave them the lead for the first time.

Presov only scored three goals for the rest of the half, which highlights poor shot efficiency of 42% throughout the game. Wings Hrstka and Antl did not deliver as much goals for the team as was expected and their back line Sadovyi, Peschko and Radcenko simply do not deliver the goals this season.


The Serbian champions were more confident as the time progressed, Filip Marjanovic and Bojan Todorovic enjoyed the end of the game. Another positive surprise in Vojvodina's team is 17-year-old Milan Jovanovic, who keeps shining, with today´s four goals out of five attempts and proving his worth.

Marjanovic confirmed his status of the best scorer of Vojvodina, with eight goals, while Alexey Peskov lead for hosts with five. The only positives for Presov is presence of Oliver Rabék and rest of the injured players back in the competition.

Effective attack and organised defence of Vojvodina prevailed as Presov remain harmless in attack.

Prešov needs to work hard as the gap to the first two spots is increasing, currently six points, while Vojvodina can look forward next home match against La Rioja full of optimism.

TEXT: Tomas Cunick / ec