Besiktas go past Metalurg as Motor progressArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: Besiktas earned their third win of the season, after dominating against Metalurg, while Motor delivered a necessary victory to proceed to the knockout round

Besiktas go past Metalurg as Motor progress

After losing against Besiktas, 29:32, Metalurg’s chances to progress to the next phase of the competition are slim to none. Despite their win, the Turkish side's chances are also gone after Motor delivered a win against Sporting CP.

Motor qualifies for the knockout stages of the VELUX EHF Champions League for the third year in a row as Sporting, Metalurg and Besiktas are now eliminated from contention.

  • Line player Tolga Ozbahar was Besiktas’ best player, scoring seven goals
  • Aidenas Malasinkas was Motor’s top scorer with eight goals
  • Motor will place second in the group if Montpellier beat Medvedi


Besiktas Mogaz HT (TUR) vs HC Metalurg (MKD) 32:29 (13:15)

There was little that Besiktas or Metalurg can do to progress to the next phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League, with a substantial gap between them and group leaders Montpellier HB and HC Motor Zaporozhye as round 8 began.

But the two teams engaged in a tightly contested game in the first part of the first half. Metalurg tried to impose their playing style on the match, which resulted in a 7:4 lead after 15 minutes, with five different players scoring for the Macedonian side.

While Besiktas relied heavily again on top goal scorer Ramazan Döne, Metalurg continued to mix their attacks, surprising the Turkish defence, to take a 15:13 lead at half time.

But it was a 5:1 run between the 34th and the 40th minute for Besiktas that saw the Turkish side take control of the game, with line player Tolga Ozbahar especially efficient in attack.

It was the defining period for the match, as Metalurg could never mount a comeback. Although youngster Filip Kuzmanovski was in especially fine form, scoring seven times, the Macedonian side disappointed in defence, as the hosts put easily goals past them.

There was no coming back for Metalurg and Besiktas was strong enough to keep their opponents at bay, earning a 32:29 win. After four consecutive matches without a victory, the Eagles earned their third success of the season, but they need several results to go their way in order to progress to the next phase of the competition.

Metalurg coach Aleksandar Jovic said : “We played  good handball in the first half and managed to take a two-goal advantage, but for some reason, we lost all our energy in the second half that led to our loss. All in all, both teams deserves to be praised because they stuck to fair play.”

Besiktas captain Döne said a change of focus after the break made the difference for the home team.

“We tried to attack from the middle in the first half and that did not produce too many goals for us," he said. "However, we changed tactics in the second half and played better defence. With the help from our goalkeeper, we managed to keep them at bay."

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs Sporting CP (POR) 32:29 (14:15)

There was no room for mistakes for Sporting, as the Portuguese side were out if they lost against Motor in a pivotal game for the group.

The Portuguese Lions enjoyed a bright start to the game, after a short period of domination from the hosts, who built a two-goal lead after nine minutes.

But a 8:3 run from Sporting, who relied on counter attacks scored by wing Pedro Araujo, turned the game on its head and the Portuguese champions had a 12:9 lead after 20 minutes.

However, with the third consecutive qualification for the play-off phase on the line, the hosts cut the gap - although Sporting were still in the hunt after 30 minutes, taking a 15:14 lead at half time.

With new-found motivation, Motor impressed in the first part of the second half. The Ukrainian side jumped to a 23:19 lead, after their opponents scored only four times in the first 13 minutes.

It was the decisive part of the game, with Sporting unable to create and surprise in attack, while Motor did enough to earn their fifth win of the group. Aidenas Malasinkas impressed by scoring eight times for the hosts.

If Montpellier do not lose tomorrow against Medvedi, the French team will win the group, with Motor settling for second and waiting for their opponent from Group C.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu/jh