Nantes outrun LIONS in the second halfArticle
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DAY REVIEW: Clear away win for Nantes and home wins for Minsk and Anaitasuna in Men’s EHF Cup
»2015-16 Men's News

Nantes outrun LIONS in the second half

HBC Nantes, the organisers of the Men’s EHF Cup Finals this season, opened their group phase campaign with a 33:26 win in the Netherlands against OCI-LIONS in Group B.

In Group C, SKA Minsk won 31:27 at home against Pfadi Winterthur, while Helvetia Anaitasuna won their home game in Group D 28:22 against CSM Bucuresti.

Men’s EHF Cup


OCI-LIONS (NED) vs HBC Nantes (FRA) 26:33 (12:16)

Being the organisers of the Men’s EHF Cup Finals this season, Nantes would obviously be particularly keen on being part of the action in May.

Saturday, in front of 2034 spectators in Dutch Sittard, they took the first step in that direction, as they got one of those away wins that are so crucial in the group phase.

After the lead changed hands several times at the beginning, Nantes went three goals up several times towards half-time, at which point, they were leading by four.

Early in the second half, the home team managed to reduce the difference to just one goal at 18:17, but this was only the starting signal of the deciding phase of the match.

With six goals in succession, Nantes changed the narrow 18:17 lead into a 24:17 one, and later, the French visitors went 11 goals ahead at 31:20 and 32:21.

A few minutes before the final buzzer, Nantes were still leading by 10 goals at 33:23, before the hosts managed to score the last three goals of the match.

Nicolas Claire scored eight times for Nantes, Rob Schmeits, Ivo Steins and Luc Steins four each for OCI-LIONS.


SKA Minsk (BLR) vs Pfadi Winterthur (SUI) 31:27 (17:13)

Minsk celebrated their debut in the EHF Cup Group Phase with a four-goal home win against Winterthur after a match, in which the 2350 spectators saw the home team stay in the lead the whole way.

From the start, the visitors’ defence had particular problems with Minsk’s young gun Uladzislau Kulesh.

The 19-year-old left back scored seven goals from eight attempts in the first half alone and nine goals from 10 attempts in the match as a total.

The entirely Belarusian outfit from Minsk were in the lead from the start, leading with five goals at 15:10 before being four goals up at the half-time buzzer.
In the second half, the hosts were still leading by five goals a couple of times, and even though Winterthur tried to mount comeback a couple of times, reducing the deficit to two goals, Minsk managed to stay in control and take a four goal win at the end.

While Uladzislau Kulesh scored nine goals for Minsk, Marcel Hess and Roman Sidorowiz scored seven each for Winterthur.

Adrian Brungger, head coach of Winterthur spoke after the match: "Our defense was not good tonight. And our goalkeepers didn't help the team.

"Despite these problems we were close to changing situation on the court when we pulled it back to 23:21.

"But we made simple mistakes and lost our chance. My congratulations to Mr. Mironovich. It was good game and SKA were really better on the night."

Spartak Mironovich, head coach of SKA: "Today we have seen many things that we have to think about in training.

"Despite victory we had many problems in the game. But I think we solved them somehow.

"Our team is young and promising. And we played a good game today. We made many mistakes, but we had a great will to win."


Helvetia Anaitasuna (ESP) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU) 28:22 (14:13)

The Pamplona region has proud memories from the times when Portland San Antonio were part of the European top handball.

Saturday night, Helvetia Anaitasuna started their effort to bring back those days, as they won the meeting another European debutant, CSM Bucuresti.

Helvetia got the better start and were leading 2:0 and 5:2.

Shortly before half-time, the hosts were even leading by four goals, 14:10, but with three goals in the last minutes of the first half, the visitors kept the tie in contention going into the second half.

At the beginning of the second half, the score changed constantly between a one and two goal lead for Helvetia, but in the last 10 minutes, the home team manage to create the decisive lead.

The Spanish hosts went four goals ahead at 23:19 and increased further to 28:21 before winning 28:22.

Juan Alvarez scored seven goals for Helvetia, while Javier Humet, Andrei Negu and Krsto Milosevic scored four each for CSM.

Javier Humet, a CSM Bucurest player spoke post-match: “We had a bad defense today. We did not play bad but our shots were saved easily by their goalkeeper.

"We were fighting during the entire game against the scoreline and made more mistakes than usual.

"It was a bad game for us. We looked for solutions to close the gap but did not find them.”

Juan Castro from Helvetia Anaitasuna had this to say after the game: “We played a great game, and we are very happy.

"We know that we are not the best team, but we have motivation and you can see that with this victory.

"This win is important for our confidence leading into the next games in EHF Cup and ASOBAL too.

"It is the beginning of a long journey, but we are really satisfied with this first game."

TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc