Elverum keep hopes of reaching playoff alive after winArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: Elverum move from the bottom of Group C with a win over Chekhovskie Medvedi

Elverum keep hopes of reaching playoff alive after win

Elverum Handball earned a fine win over the Russian champions to move up the ranking in Group C. Their win gives Montpellier a chance to be the first team to advance from Group C, should they prevail against La Rioja on Saturday. Both teams are still in the race for the playoff spots, but the results must play in their favour.

•    Elverum’s win mean Montpellier can qualify should they beat La Rioja on Saturday
•    Elverum kept their chances of progressing from the group alive with a win
•    Norwegians matched last season’s total tally of seven points already with two games remaining
•    Tamas Ivancsik scored 17 goals in two matches against Chekhovskie Medvedi
•    The Bears have scored only two goals in the last seven minutes of the game compared to Elverum’s seven


Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs Elverum handball (NOR) 26:31 (14:15)

The Norwegian Champions claimed a surprising 31:26 win over the Chekhovskie Bears after an inspiring performance from their Hungarian star winger Tamas Ivancsik. Elverum move in front of their opponent in the standings with seven points.

High flying start

Confidence gained from the La Rioja win was evident in the Chekhov team from the beginning. The Bears quickly went into the lead by three goals (4:1). However, there was no sign of the Elverum that showed up four days ago at home against Metalurg. Mentally they stayed focused; they kept the pace high and benefited from numerous balls lost by Chekhov.

Responsibility on their shoulders     

Both teams were perhaps too motivated as their efficiency in the opening minutes was shaky. Number of shots from unprepared positions and reliable goalkeepers meant, neither side was able to take the edge. Technical faults made the slight difference. Whilst Chekhovskie Medvedi were struggling up front, Elverum used their wings efficiently to open up the compact defence of Bears. It was once again the dynamic, fast flowing attack of Elverum we knew from previous Champions League encounters.    

Decisive seven minutes   

Throughout the match the biggest goal difference was three. None of the teams allowed the other to jump away. Until the 53rd minute of the game, when Alexander Kotov made it 24:24. Since this moment, Bears scored only two goals compared to seven of Elverum. Santalov had significant support only from Alexander Kotov and that was not enough.

Favourite opponent

Similar to the match played in Norway, Tamas Ivancsik was the man on fire for the visitors. In home match against Bears he scored eight, today he added nine goals, which makes Chekhovskie Medvedi his favourite opponent this season. On the other side, the Norwegians were warned about the qualities of the young prospect left back Dmitrii Santalov. Indeed, the Russian talent held the flag high with eight goals.

TEXT: EHF / bc