Barcelona advance as Montpellier and Szeged drawArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: VELUX EHF Champions League title-holders Barcelona secure a knockout stage berth with a win against KIF, while Montpellier and Szeged share the spoils.

Barcelona advance as Montpellier and Szeged draw

Reigning champions FC Barcelona Lassa booked their Last 16 ticket with five games to spare after a strong second half saw them beat KIF Kolding Kolding, while Montpellier kept their own hopes alive with a home draw with MOL-Pick Szeged.

KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN) vs FC Barcelona Lassa (ESP) 28:36 (15:16)

Barcelona continued their good from with a comfortable win against Kolding, silencing a passionate Danish crowd who must have hoped for a different outcome in this make-or-break match for the home side.

While the result sends Barcelona through to the Last 16 and keeps them in the group’s driving seat, it ends Kolding’s chances of reaching the knockout stage as they remain rooted to the bottom with only one win and eight defeats.

Barcelona have 15 points from nine games, two more than second-placed Rhein-Neckar Löwen. Third-placed KS Vive Tauron Kielce are another point behind in the tight race for an automatic quarter-final berth.

Kolding, who have produced some of their best performances against the section’s strongest teams, held their own for three quarters but ran out of steam in the final 15 minutes.

Tunisian left back Wael Jallouz again drove Barcelona to victory, netting a game-high nine goals from 13 shots after amassing 20 in two successive wins against HC Vardar.


Kiril Lazarov, who struggled in the double header against his Macedonian compatriots, was back to his best and rifled in seven goals from 11 efforts against Kolding.

Barcelona never looked back after taking a 25:21 lead midway through the second half, racing to the finish line despite Kolding’s valiant efforts to salvage something against the powerhouse of European club handball.

Centre back Bo Spellerberg led the Danish side with seven goals from 13 shots, with Lucas Karlsson and Tortsen Laen adding five each. Emerging left back Lasse Andersson had a quiet afternoon as he remained scoreless from two shots on goal.

Montpellier HB (FRA) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN) 29:29 (17:17)

Montpellier and Szeged battled out an exciting draw which played into the hands of both teams, as it kept their respective hopes of getting the most out of a closely-fought group phase alive.

The Hungarian outfit moved one place up to fourth while Montpellier moved ahead of Kristianstad in sixth position as a result of the draw.
While Szeged’s ambition will be to surge further up the ladder in the home straight, the French side are desperate to hold on to the group’s last knockout stage berth, with the top six going through.

There was nothing between the rivals as they matched each other in every department throughout Sunday’s enthralling contest.

Slovenian Dean Bombac again shone for Szeged with nine goals from 14 shots while Swede Jonas Källman chipped in with four. A balanced attack produced an array of other scorers for the visitors, as Serbian winger Rajko Prodanovic netted five goals and two of his teammates scored three apiece.

Montpellier’s Jure Dolenec stayed on an even keel with his compatriot and counterpart Bombac, drilling in eight goals from nine attempts, while another Slovenian, Dragan Gajic, provided worthy support with seven from nine shots.

Ludovic Fabregas was also an important link in Montpellier’s three-pronged scoring chine with six goals from seven efforts.  

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cg