TATRAN beat La Rioja for the first time to climb up the standingsArticle
«Go back

GROUP C REVIEW: TATRAN Presov triumphed over La Rioja for the first time ever to end their season on a high

TATRAN beat La Rioja for the first time to climb up the standings

Despite having their playoff berth booked, La Rioja travelled to Presov eager to find their winning form before the crucial play-off matches. However Jesus Javier Gonzalez Fernandez's men were outplayed in an outstanding home performance.

  • Presov beat their VELUX EHF Champions League record with nine points
  • First ever win for Presov against La Rioja in four matches
  • La Rioja will play the winners of Group D in the play-off for the last 16


TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs Naturhouse La Rioja (ESP) 30:27 (18:16)

In their last home match of the VELUX EHF Champions League 2016/17, TATRAN Presov showed the vast improvement they have made in the past year.

Following a tough battle with Spanish side Naturhouse La Rioja in the first half, the Slovakian team enjoyed well-earned applause from the stands after securing a 30:27 win.

The home side fielded their best-possible line up despite Rastislav Trtik's men having no chance of progressing from Group C. Wide squad options provided Trtik with a number of options in both attack and defence.

Rabek provides backbone

Left back Oliver Rabek dominated the hosts' score sheet with nine goals, proving he is Presov's biggest threat. Dominik Krok added to the success from the back court with six successful attempts on goal, making up half of Presov's goals together with Rabek.

Trtik insisted on pressure from the back court and his tactics proved successful as TATRAN clearly enjoyed the match.

Unlike in their previous games, Presov managed to keep up the momentum from the end of the first half throughout the game. La Rioja looked to have the upper hand in the first half, but TATRAN never allowed them to build more than a three-goal lead.

TATRAN scored eight goals playing with an extra man, compared to just one goal playing with an extra man for La Rioja, which made the decisive difference. While the final result made no difference to the Group C rankings it was a positive end to the season for Presov, who finish third in the standings with nine points.

Exciting spectacle

After the match Krok said: "We said to each other we could not lose our lead. We wanted to extend it in the second half. We managed it because we played a lot of fast breaks and were able to convert our chances into easy goals."

"I would like to congratulate La Rioja on qualifying into the next stages of the VELUX EHF Champions League," added Trtik.

"We knew they were professionals and sportsmen, so they would not give us anything in the game. Both teams delivered excellent performances and it was a really good and exciting match for the spectators."

Gonzalez Fernandez congratulated La Rioja's opponents.

"Our team made too many big mistakes in the match," he concded. "At the moments we played well, we were not able to take this advantage. When our goalkeepers saved the shots, all rebounds went for TATRAN."

TEXT: Tomas Cuncik/jh