Holstebro keep their hopes alive; Porto finish with maximum pointsArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: 15 goals from Magnus Bramming played a big part as TTH Holstebro kept their quarter-final dreams, while FC Porto Sofarma finished the group phase with maximum points.

Holstebro keep their hopes alive; Porto finish with maximum points

TTH Holstebro knew before Saturday's match that to progress in the EHF Cup they needed to beat Liberbank Cuenca and rely on Fraikin BM. Granollers defeating fellow Danish side GOG in Group D. For their part, Holstebro delivered a wide-margin win by 12 goals. A 7:0 run at the end of the first half laid the platform for the comfortable win.

Elsewhere, in a match without any significance in terms of qualification for the EHF Cup Quarter-final race, FC Porto Sofarma took their sixth win out of six, defeating HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta by three goals on Saturday evening

  • Holstebro keep their hopes alive with a 12-goal win; their biggest win in the group phase
  • With 15 goals, Magnus Bramming extended his lead as top scorer in the EHF Cup
  • Porto joined THW Kiel as the only teams to go through the group phase with maximum points.
  • Holstebro’s win ended Constanta’s EHF Cup campaign prior to the Romanian side’s last match

TTH Holstebro (DEN) vs Liberbank Cuenca (ESP) 34:22 (19:12)

With a big win in the Gråkjær Arena against Liberbank Cuenca, Holstebro did what they could to keep their EHF Cup Quarter-final hopes alive. Now all they can do is await the result from the Group D match between Granollers and GOG on Sunday evening. A GOG defeat will send Holstebro to the quarter-final, while GOG will book the ticket if they can avoid a defeat in Spain.

In the early stages, Holstebro had several two-goal leads and a single three-goal lead, when they led 6:3 after 12 minutes, but Cuenca kept coming back.

As Cuenca did not score for the last seven minutes of the first half, Holstebro went from 12:12 to a 19:12 half time lead courtesy of a flurry of succesful fast breaks. It was this run which clearly decided the outcome of the match in Holstebro's favour.

Through a successful 5-1 defence, a fine performance from Simon Gade in goal and efficient fast breaks, the home team kept increasing their lead in the second half until they were 12 goals ahead.

With no fewer than 15 goals, left wing Magnus Bramming made an important contribution to keeping his team’s quarter-final dreams alive.

"We played awful for the first 20 minutes, but luckily we pulled a stronger performance out in the remaining minutes of the game. It was a good win for us, and now we must see if it is enough to qualify for the EHF Cup Quarter-final,” said Magnus Bramming.

FC Porto Sofarma (POR) vs HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta (ROU) 30:27 (16:13)

As Porto were already assured of winning and Group C and Constanta could no longer reach the quarter-final stage, neither team had much at stake in their final match of the group phase. Still, Porto had the opportunity to finish with maximum points with a victory, and they duly did so.

After an unsuccessful try at using an extra attacking player at the start of the match, Porto started to live up to their status as favourites when they went reverted to attacking six against six. Porto were four goals up at 12:8 and 13:9, but they were unable to shake off their opponents by half time.

Although Porto’s lead was three goals at half time, Constanta levelled at 17:17 four minutes into the second half. The visitors managed to remain a danger and again levelled at 22:22, but Porto decided the match (30:27) in their favour in the last quarter of an hour.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / jw