La Rioja take back first spot in Group CArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: La Rioja took a convincing 33:27 win over Presov to regain the group lead after Round 3

La Rioja take back first spot in Group C

La Rioja earned a 33:27 win over Tartran Presov, which proved to be a hard nut to crack as they have been showing much improvement over the last couple of weeks in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

  • La Rioja return to the top of the group with five points.

  • It is the third European win for La Rioja against Presov.

  • Presov managed only one goal in the opening 12 minutes after half-time.

  • Gurutz Aguinagalde shines as he replaces Kappelin for the second half.

  • Angel Fernandez tops the score sheet with 10 goals.

Naturhouse La Rioja (ESP) vs Tatran Presov (SVK) 33:27 (16:18)

Tatran Presov learned their lesson last week against Metalurg as they did not allow La Rioja to get into a significant lead in the first half.

La Rioja lost nine balls in attack compared to two by Presov. Alexey Peskov with his 100% efficiency in the first half, and a five-goal streak at the end of that half, gave Presov a 18-16 lead at half-time.

La Rioja only allowed one goal in the opening ten minutes of the second half - from a penalty. They have scored seven to get back the lead early.

Igor Chupryna and Vadym Brazhnyk could not deliver their usual performance for Presov unlike La Rioja captain Aguizu Aguinagalde. 37% saves for La Rioja side compared to 10% for Tatran Presov was a clear stat.

Fast break goals

Presov this time relied on their backs, which could not deliver after break.

Alexey Peskov was out from the 35th minute. On the other side, Angel Fernandez scored seven to top the score list for La Rioja. Counter attacks were a strong weapon of the team from Spain. Luis Jimenez and Ruben Garabaya found their rhythm to help La Rioja dominate.

Said after the game:

Rastislav Trtik, Tatran Presov coach: "We did not play well in the second half but we played well in the first half. Unfortunately our tactics did not work. In the second half our shooting was bad and also our goalkeeping was not so good."

Jota Gonzalez, La Rioja coach: "We played a good second half. It was key for us to begin strong in the second half. There were critical moments during the match when they lost the ball or when our players like Albert Rocas stole the ball. Our defence was very important, especially in the second half."

Radovan Pekar, Tatran Presov left back: "It was a pity that we could not continue winning like we did in the last match. It is important for us to stay positive and to learn from this."

TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / ew