Motor win Group D after drama in SkjernArticle
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GROUP D REVEIW: HC Motor Zaporozhye group winners after draw in Skjern, while Elverum finish fifth after clear win against HC Metalurg

Motor win Group D after drama in Skjern

HC Motor Zaporozhye win Group D of the VELUX EHF Champions League after a dramatic 36:36 away win against Skjern Handbold. Both teams qualify for the play-offs though. In the other Sunday match, VELUX EHF Champions League debutants Elverum Handball Herrer secured the fifth place with a 29:23 at home against HC Metalurg.


Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR) vs HC Metalurg (MKD) 29:23 (15:7)

HC Metalurg were missing their head coach Lino Cervar due to illness but they will probably not use that as an excuse for the defeat.

It took Metalurg five minutes and 45 seconds to erase the zero on the scoreboard and as Janko Bozovic scored their first goal, Steffen Stegavik had already scored Elverum Handball Herrer's first two goals.

Elverum continued to dominate the game and increased their lead to 4:1, 5:2 and 7:3 due to stellar performances by Morten Nergaard in goal as well as by Steffen Stegavik, Andre Lindboe and Luka Mitrovic in the attack.

This quartet played the decisive part, as the home team scored six goals in a row, changing an 8:6 lead into 14:6.



Leading 15:7 at half-time, Elverum continued to increased their lead after the break and after a quarter of an hour and ten seconds in the second half, Karl Victor Björkman gave them their first ten-goal lead at 24:14.

In the last ten minutes, Elverum slowed down a bit, while head coach Michael Apelgren rested some of his key players.

This enabled Metalurg to put a little cosmetic on the result.

Left wing Andre Lindboe scored eight goals for Elverum who finish fifth in the group with seven points, while right back Janko Bozovic scored five for Metalurg who finish last with four points.

Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) 36:36 (17:19)

25 Ukrainian fans, who had taken the long journey to Denmark, had a wonderful Sunday afternoon among over 2000 spectators in the Skjern Bank Arena, as HC Motor Zaporozhye won the group after a breathtaking finish, which ended in a draw, which was just enough for the visitors to win the group.

Motor were missing left back Sergii Burka, while Skjern Handbold were without line player Bjarte Myrhol, both due to injury.

At first it was hard to spot which team was best at coping with their abscent players.

Within less than five minutes at the beginning, Skjern scored five goals in succession, changing a 2:0 deficit into a 5:2 win.



However, it did not take Motor long to take back the initiative and change a 9:6 lead for Skjern into 10:9 and later 17:13 in their own favour.

After Motor had been leading by two goals at half-time, the second half became and equal affair, in which the teams took turns at narrowing the leads.

With less than a minute left, though, Motor seemed to have decided the matter, as they got ahead 36:34 but with two goals within less than 20 seconds, Skjern equalised and the home team even had the ball in the last five seconds but right back Kasper Søndergaard lost the ball and Motor could celebrate the group win.

“I could not see the clock, therefore I did not know how much time was left,” Kasper Søndergaard explained to Danish TV after the match.

“Motor were very good at punishing all the mistakes we made and that became deciding,” he found.

Head coach of Skjern Ole Morgaard said: "It is too bad that we can't win, even if we score 36 goals at home but we must admit that we never got the grip on our defence. We tried but nothing really succeeded."

TEXT: Peter Bruun / ec