BSV extend winning run, Presov stay in touchArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: The group leaders were ahead from start to finish against Chekhovskie Medvedi, while Presov beat Besiktas to keep their play-off chances intact

BSV extend winning run, Presov stay in touch

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg could afford no misstep in their remote battle with Sporting and Presov in VELUX EHF Champions League Group C, and the Danish team delivered on Saturday, beating Chekhovskie Medvedi 30:24 in another fine offensive outing. Their sixth win gives BSV the group lead for at least one more week, with a two-point advantage over Sporting.

Presov followed a few hours later, as the Slovakian team clinched a record fifth win (27:23 against Besiktas) to keep the battle for the play-off spots exciting.

  • Right back Nikolaj Nielsen was BSV’s top scorer, with eight goals

  • Chekhov only led once in the entire game, after scoring the first goal

  • Presov have never before won five group phase matches in one season

  • BSV will host Presov next week a potentially pivotal game for the group standings

Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) 24:30 (10:16)

Right back Nikolaj Nielsen and left wing August Pedersen were impossible to stop in the first 20 minutes of the game as the massive Russian defence found no answer to BSV’s attack. The two Danish players scored eight of their team’s first nine goals, as BSV cruised to their sixth win of the season.

There was no surprise, therefore, that the Danish side boasted a 11:6 lead, built especially on the stout 61% shot efficiency they had throughout the first half.

BSV kept on pounding and with top goal scorer Johan Hansen in fine form, scoring four times, the lead kept on increasing. The game was virtually over after 40 minutes, when the guests took a 22:14 lead.

The Russian side cut the gap until the end of the game, but it was hardly enough to stress the Danish side, who recorded a record five consecutive win in the VELUX EHF Champions League, 30:24.

BSV can strengthen their grip on the group next week when they host TATRAN Presov, while Medvedi are virtually out of contention after their fifth loss of the season.

TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs Besiktas Mogaz (TUR) 27:23 (18:11)

Presov set a new club record by winning their fifth VELUX EHF Champions League match in a single season.

Coach Slovko Goluža praised his players for "the historic achievement."

"For us this match was also about preparing for the match in Denmark (against BSV)," Goluža said. "We can take the first half as the direction we must play. However, the second half from us was poor and we must work on improvement in the upcoming days.

It took Presov 15 minutes to overcome Besiktas' resistance and get into the lead, but the Slovakian side lived up to their billing as favourites for the rest of the first half.

Nemanja Pribak and Tolga Özbahar caused the hosts the biggest problems. Especially the latter was unstoppable on the line with eight goals from nine attempts.

Tatran did something they failed to do in their previous group phase matches: being effective through the wings, as not only Tomáš Číp was on fire, but also Martin Stráňovský, who can also alternate in the back court.

Also, goalkeeper Igor Chupryna built on his fine performance from Lisbon and his save percentage of 31 after 30 minutes made a huge difference in the first half. Together with the high efficiency up front, it allowed Presov to create a seven-goal advantage (18:11) at the break.

Besiktas, which missed their No. 1 goalkeeper Karim Hendawy, improved in the second half. And although they closed to gap from seven to four, the victory for Presov was never under threat.

"We have played probably the best half of handball in the Champions League this season," said Besiktas coach Mufit Arin. "It is positive for us to build on in the upcoming matches."

Bruno Butorac, Presov's best goal scorer, added a cherry on the cake with an in-flight goal in the 29th minute. With five goals in total, he became joint top scorer alongside Oliver Rábek and Martin Stráňovský.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew