Back-to-back champions open group phase with narrow winArticle
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DAY REVIEW: Frisch Auf Göppingen, who won the Men's EHF Cup for the previous two years, had to work hard to start their current group phase campaign with a home win against Croatian RK Nexe.
»2017-18 Men's News

Back-to-back champions open group phase with narrow win

Defending back-to-back winners Frish Auf Göppingen had to work hard to open their current group phase campaign in the Men's EHF Cup with a 30:27 win at home against RK Nexe from Croatia.

SC Magdeburg, who will be hosting the EHF Cup Final this season, were also involved in a thriller before winning 33:31 in Belarus against SKA Minsk.

  • SC Magdeburg were trailing during the first half before winning away against SKA Minsk
  • 11 goals from  Nico Rönnberg were not enough to secure Cocks their first points in the EHF Cup
  • Ruling champions Frisch Auf Göppingen had to work hard to overcome RK Nexe at home.


Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) vs TATRAN Presov (SVK) 27:19 (15:10)

Presov confused Bjerringbro-Silkeborg by starting with a 5-1 formation in their defence.

However, as soon as the home team figured out to play around the visitors' defence, the Danish side were in control.

A 6:5 deficit soon turned into a 12:7 lead, and from that point on, Silkeborg never looked back.

As Silkeborg changed their own defence from 6-0 to 5-1, their control of the game became even clearer, and the Danish lead was as large as 10 goals, when it was 25:15 in the second half.

“We needed a little time to get adjusted to their way of playing, but as soon as we started to run with them, we had no problems,”

said Silkeborg right back Nikolaj Oris Nielsen who was his team's top scorer with seven goals.


SKA Minsk (BLR) vs SC Magdeburg (GER) 31:33 (19:17)

The first half belonged to Minsk.

Apart for an 11:10 lead for Magdeburg after 16 minutes, the 2000 spectators saw the home team being in the lead throughout the high-scoring first 30 minutes.

However, after Magdeburg won the seven and a half minutes of the second half 6:0, the visitors were in the driving seat and stayed there, although the rest of the match was close.

Magdeburg were leading by three and even four goals several times, but every time, Minsk came back to only being one goal down.

The match was really first decided, as Magdeburg´s Norwegian playmaker Christian O´Sullivan made it 33:31 in the dying seconds.

With 10 goals, left wing Matthias Musche played a considerable part in the Magdeburg win.



Helvetia Anaitasuna (ESP) vs Lugi HF (Sweden) 34:32 (17:17)

With 10 goals, right wing Oswaldo Dos Santos Maestro contributed to make the 1500 spectators in the Polideportivo Anaitasuna of Pamplona happy Saturday evening, as Anaitasuna took a narrow home win against Lugi.

After Saint-Raphael Var Handball opened the group with a 26:21 away win against former champions Füchse Berlin on Wednesday, this match was the only game in Group B this weekend.

After an equal first half, which ended in a stand-off, the Spanish home team managed to get a slight upper hand in the last 30 minutes.


Cocks (FIN) vs RD Koper (SLO) 27:32 (14:16)

Koper got off to a perfect start, as the Slovenian team took a five-goal lead with them from their visit to Finland.

Cocks, on the other hand, are still chasing their first points in an EHF Cup group phase.

Last season, as the Finnish champions had their debut in the group phase, they did not manage to get any points, and in their opening match this season, they had to leave the Folksam Arena of Siuntio empty-handed.

Cocks got the better start, but after that, Koper were in control most of the way, and after being two goals up at half time, they kept a five to six-goal lead during the second half.

“Cocks' open defence gave us good scoring opportunities, and our goalkeepers made important saves.

I am happy how our young team performed today,”

said Koper coach Veselin Vujovic.

One of Cocks' key players, Nico Rönnberg, who scored 11 goals in the match, said:

“We started well with a three-goal lead. Then, however, our defence fell and allowed our opponent to score from close range.”

Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) vs RK Nexe (CRO) 30:27 (16:15)

The defending back-to-back winners of the EHF Cup had to work hard to open their group phase campaign this season with a win.

The Croatian visitors put up a great fight and were even leading several times during the first half of the Saturday evening game in the EWS Arena of Göppingen.

Even in the second half, the 2700 spectators saw Nexe following the home team closely, and 12 minutes after the break, the score was still even at 22:22.

It was not until the very last minutes that the home team managed to create the deciding difference.

“We had the right attitude today, and that was the reason why were able to make the game turn out in our favour at the end.

“It was crucial that we have more options to make substitutions than Nexe had,” found Göppingen coach Rolf Brack.



Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc Handball (FRA) vs Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) 30:30 (12:17)

Chambery did not get their revenge for the 25:21 defeat against Granollers in the bronze match at the 2016 EHF Cup Finals, but to the French home team, the draw may have felt nearly as a win, as there was not much along the way that indicated a point or two for Chambery.

Granollers soon took a clear lead in Le Phare of Chambery Saturday night, and at half time, the Spanish visitors were five goals up, as they had been several times during the first 30 minutes already.

As the second half progressed, however, the hosts moved closer, and with nine minutes left, they managed to level the score for the first time at 26:26.

The rest of the match turned into a nailbiting thriller with the score alternating between a stand-off and a one-goal lead for Granollers, before it all ended in a draw.

On Sunday, EHF Cup group phase debutants KS Azoty-Pulawy SA and Wacker Thun meet in the other match from group D this weekend.

TEXT: Peter Bruun/kc