Schaffhausen keep hope alive with first away winArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: A surprise win for Kadetten Schaffhausen against table-leaders Skjern reaffirms play-off hopes for the Swiss and means three teams now sit top of the table after Baia Mare won at HC Metalurg

Schaffhausen keep hope alive with first away win

Kadetten Schaffhausen kept their hopes for a play-off berth alive with a 29:25 away win in Group D against Skjern Handbold in Round 6 of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Sunday was not only Kadetten’s first away win this EHF Champions League season; it was also Skjern’s first defeat at home.

The result means that Skjern are now joint top of the table with two other sides including weekend winners HCM Baia Mare who beat HC Metalurg in Skopje.

Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) 25:29 (13:12)

Skjern set an all-time attendance record with 3,088 spectators in the Skjern Bank Arena, but even their support could not save the Danish team.

For the first 20 minutes, Skjern were leading by one or two goals, but when Kadetten changed their usual 3-2-1 defence to a 6-0 formation, the home team stumbled across problems in attack.

After 22 minutes, Kadetten left wing Manuel Lininger gave the visitors their first lead at 11:10.

With four minutes left in the first half, Skjern lost playmaker Lasse Mikkelsen to the sidelines with a broken finger, which was a further blow to the hosts’ attack.

Skjern held a one-goal lead at half-time, but it did not take Kadetten long to take the initiative in the second half. The guests led by six goals more than once before finally winning by four.

The win puts Kadetten on five points, while Skjern are still on eight with a good chance to proceed to the play-offs.

“We played too individually in attack, and in defence we never managed to hit their shooters.

“We have thrown our advantage from our fine performances earlier in the tournament completely away,” Skjern back Daniel Svensson told the Danish TV station DR1.

“When we changed from 3-2-1 to 6-0, I think we got their attacking players more under control. Now we still live in the group. If we had lost today, our chances would have been gone,” Kadetten’s Danish line player Johan Koch said.

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs HCM Baia Mare (ROU) 21:23 (9:13)

A brilliant comeback was not enough for HC Metalurg as Baia Mare joined Skjern Handbold and HC Motor Zaporozhye on eight points in the top of the group through their first away win in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Baia Mare's aggressive defence caused Metalurg's attack trouble from the start in the Boris Trajkovski and the Romanian visitors got off to a great start going out to a 13:9 lead at the half.

The home team started turning the game in the middle of the second half as Baia Mare had increasing problems with Metalurg's 3-2-1 defence, and with four goals in succession the hosts managed their first lead in the match (21:20).

The home team could not hold on though as Baia Mare managed to turn the game once again with three goals in a row within the last five minutes to secure the victory that put them joint top while Metalurg will have trouble reaching the play-offs having only secured  four points after six matches.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg / rm