KS Azoty-Pulawy SA let a four-goal advantage slip in last two minutesArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: Fraikin BM. Granollers grab a lucky draw in Poland, both sides far away from quarter-finals
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KS Azoty-Pulawy SA let a four-goal advantage slip in last two minutes

The deal seemed to be sealed two minutes before the end, when Polish side KS Azoty-Pulawy SA were ahead by four (34:30) against Granollers - but the Spaniards staged a sensational comeback scoring four goals in 115 seconds to share the points.

The draw was the first point for both sides in Group D of the Men’s EHF Cup - but the quarter-finals seem to be out of reach for both with three points the difference between them and the top two sides.

  • Adrian Figueras netted 10 times to move up to 37 goals in total
  • 12 goals from Pawel Podsiadlo were not enough for the hosts
  • Both opponents await their first group victory

Group D
KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL) vs BM Fraikin Granollers (ESP) 34:34 (16:15)

Granollers started this match in express mode, as it took time for home side Azoty-Pulawy to find the right rhythm. And with the score showing a 5:1 advantage to the Catalans it proved to be something like a wake-up call for the side of head coach Bartosz Jurecki as his side brought it back to equalise for the first time at 8:8, and from that moment on, his side shaded the advantage with an improved defence.

However, their 16:15 at the break was anything but a decision.

In contrast to the first half, the hosts had the better start of the second half, extending their advantage to three goals, but thanks to a treble strike from Alejandro Marquez Coloma, Granollers managed to level the result at 24:24 - and everything was open again.

Though Pulawy were ahead most of the time, they could not outdistance their opponent. Even when Granollers’ defensive specialist Marc Garcia was sent to the spectator seats after his third suspension, the hosts could not immediately profit.

Five minutes before the final buzzer, when the score was 30:28 in favour of the hosts, Granollers took their penultimate time-out - but their 29th goal which followed seemed to be the last glimpse of hope for the Catalans as they became too hectic in attack and, losing concentration, they missed the next three shots as Azoty-Pulawy grabbed their chance for the first four-goal advance at 33:29.

With 115 seconds left the team from Poland were still ahead by four (34:30), but they then failed four times in attack, including the last shot of Marko Panic, as Granollers were extremely quick and efficient, scoring the last four goals to take an unlikely point.

Despite losing a four-goal lead in the last seconds, Azoty-Pulawy’s coach Jurecki Bartosz had no problem with a point. “We expected it to be a hard game because we already played them [and knew what to expect],” he said. “In the end we were lucky and are happy with a point.”

“It was a balanced game,” said Granollers’ Figueras. “At the end we couldn't cope with the aggressive play of our rivals and made two significant mistakes and that's why we could only get one point, but I would like to praise my team for their fight and commitment.”

TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc