Baia Mare and Motor keep play-off hopes aliveArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: Two close encounters provided plenty of entertainment in Group D on Sunday

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Baia Mare and Motor keep play-off hopes alive

HCM Baia Mare and HC Motor Zaporozhye both kept their hopes of reaching the play-off for the knock-out matches alive on Sunday, as both teams won close matches. Baia Mare won 21:20 in a thriller at home against HC Metalurg, while Motor also won by a single goal with a score of 30:29 in Elverum. Both Baia Mare and Motor have six points, two behind Skjern Handbold in the first place.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs HC Metalurg (MKD) 21:20 (10:9)

Baia Mare still hopes to reach the play-offs for the Last 16 in their first Champions League campaign. That is their current situation after the Romanian champions won a thriller at home against Metalurg on Sunday afternoon.

Baia Mare were leading the entire game, and several times, the Romanian champions seemed to have the match under control, as they were ahead by three or four goals on several occasions. Still, the 2,400 spectators in the Sala Polivalenta Lascar Pana saw a thriller ending, as Metalurg managed to reduce the gap to one goal in the last minute, but were unsuccessful in claiming a point.

In the low-scoring match, both teams had their trouble in the attack against two movable defences, but Baia Mare had the most success in the first half, in which the home team were leading by between two and four goals, before the visitors managed to reduce the deficit to one goal before half time.

In the second half, Metalurg even managed to equalise at 10:10 and 11:11, but the hosts moved ahead by three goals again, before it all ended with a thriller.

“First of all, I want to thank the players for their determination, for their attitude. We had some difficult moments in the last few days, and after some matches full of bad luck, we finally won two points today,” said Baia Mare coach Petru Pop.

“We used many young and inexperienced players and this proved to be very important today, as we lost out concentration in key moments of the game. In the first half, we made mistakes in attack and the defense did not work. The second half was the same. We had our good points, but we made mistakes during the most important moments,” Metalurg coach Lino Cervar said.

Hungarian right wing, Tams Ivancsik, scored six goals for Baia Mare, while right back Janko Bozovic was once again the highest scoring Metalurg player. The Austrian right back scored eight goals this time. While the win brought Baia Mare to six points, Metalurg remain on four.

Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR) vs HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) 29:30 (15:12)

For large parts of the match, Elverum seemed to be heading for another surprising win, but Motor Zaporozhye managed to turn the tables in the second half and win by one goal after an exciting finish.

Elverum finally had almost all their injured players fit and the Norwegian champions celebrated by dominating the first half. Enthusiastically supported by the crowd in the Terningen Arena, the home team were constantly leading by two or three goals in the first half. However, it only took Motor three and a half minutes to change the three-goal deficit at half time into their first lead of the match at 16:15.

From then on, it did not take the visitors long to increase their lead to 24:20 and at that point, they seemed to have control over the game. However, Elverum came back once again and reduced the deficit to one goal at 27:26 with five minutes left.

For the rest of the match, Motor were leading by one or two goals, and at the end, they managed to win by just one. Left wing André Lindboe scored nine goals for Elverum, who still have three points, while left back Sergii Burka scored seven times for Motor, who now share second place at six points with Baia Mare.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / tm