Szeged take points in Skjern, Nantes grab one in ZaporozhyeArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: MOL-Pick Szeged came back from a half-time deficit to beat Skjern at home, while HC Motor Zaporozhye drew with Nantes

Szeged take points in Skjern, Nantes grab one in Zaporozhye

Sunday was a good day for teams playing away in group B after both Nantes and Szeged came home with something in their hands. The Hungarian side managed to take the two points in Skjern, thanks to some decisive saves by Mirko Allilovic in the last moments of the game.

Nantes trailed through most of the game but with their experience, came back just at the right moment and were able to retain the draw in Zaporozhye. Tonight, Szeged are second in group B while Nantes are third, with seven points.

  • Szeged and Skjern wingers Mario Sostaric and Anders Eggert both netted six
  • Zaporozhye grabbed points at home for the second time in a row
  • Nantes were able to overcome a three-goals deficit to secure a draw
  • Zaporozhye’s Artem Kozakevych was the top scorer with nine goals


Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN) 26:29 (15:14)

The first half was dominated by the hosts, who proved to be very efficient in attack. Szeged, on the other hand, were having a hard time getting past Emil Nielsen and the locals were ahead by four after 22 minutes.

Feeling like the game might slip out of their hands, Szeged strengthened their defence in the last minutes of the first half, conceding only one goal while scoring four, to keep their chances alive at half-time.

Szeged came out from the dressing room with the same defensive intensity. As a consequence, they took the lead for the first time since the eighth minute, gaining a two-goal advantage with a seven-metre throw by Joan Canellas.

But despite Szeged being four goals ahead and Thomas Mogensen seeing red, Skjern didn’t keep their heads down for long. A timeout helped them get their heads straight and a goal from line player Christoffer Mikkelsen levelled the score at 25:25 six minutes before the end.

Szeged used their experience in the last seconds. Making the most of a two-minute suspension against Jan Grebenc, Bence Banhidi scored two to give his team the two points.

Skjern goalkeeper Björgvin Gustavsson said the loss was frustrating.

"We are satisfied with our game today," he said. "We played well against a world-class team. But of course, we are never happy after a defeat, and it is very frustrating to lose like this. We had so many good chances and we put so much power into the game."


HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs HBC Nantes (FRA) 30:30 (15:14)

Both teams took a while to warm up, having difficulties to find solutions on attack. But the hosts took things in hand, with Barys Pukhouski and Artem Kozakevych as their main scorers, netting five and four goals respectively.

It was Zakhar Denysov who gave Zaporozhye the first and only three-goal advantage of the first half.

Guy Olivier Nyokas’ arrival on the court did some good for Nantes, as his speed helped the visitors break through the Ukrainian defence. As a consequence, last year’s VELUX EHF Champions League finalists took the lead in the 22nd minute.

However Denysov scored an important goal again right before the final whistle, helping Zaporozhye to go back to the dressing room one goal ahead.

Zaporozhye were the best team of the two when the game resumed, with their defence once again proving to be the key. Despite playing seven against six, Nantes were struggling.

While Nantes never trailed by much, they were unable to get the opportunity to make the score even, not being able to control Pukhouski. The centre-back was clearly the man of the game for Zaporozhye, delivering assists and goals.

In a desperate attempt not to let the points go, Kiril Lazarov and Nicolas Tournat threw everything they had at the battle, respectively scoring six and eight. And it was enough to make the score even, turning the end of the game into a real thriller.

As Pukhouski failed to score on his last shot, the two teams had to share the points with a 30:30 draw.

TEXT: Kevin Domas/jh