Veszprem see off Kielce, while Porto and Brest continue to battle for the sixth placeArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: Veszprem limited Kielce to only nine goals in the second half for another home win, as Porto and Brest earned impressive wins against Montpellier and Vardar

Veszprem see off Kielce, while Porto and Brest continue to battle for the sixth place

The battle for the first places in Group B is heating up, as Veszprem leapfrogged Montpellier and Kielce into second place, after their 28:24 win against the Polish side.

Brest navigated their way to a superb 31:22 win against Vardar, but their challenge for the sixth place is still uncertain, as the previously sixth-placed Porto enjoyed an unexpected 27:22 win against Montpellier.

  • Kielce host Porto next week, as Veszprem travel to Vardar
  • Kiel lead the group with 14 points, only two more than Veszprem and three more than Montpellier
  • Wing Mikita Vailupau scored eleven goals in the second half for Brest, as Vardar scored only nine times

Telekom Veszprem HC (HUN) vs PGE Vive Kielce (POL) 28:24 (13:15)

It was far from the attacking performance we expected from Veszprem and Kielce, as both defences had one of their best outings of the season, limiting the opponents in key moments.

It was Kielce who dealt the first blows of the game, despite back Alex Dujshebaev not having the best game, as he was honed in on by the Hungarian defence.

But it was the battle of the line players - Andreas Nilsson and Artsem Karalek - that took center stage, as Kielce enjoyed a 15:13 lead at the break.

However, it looked like their might be another Veszprem second half comeback, as they amped up their defence and limited Kielce to only nine goals scored.

A 4:0 run between the 47th minute and the 52nd minute was the key in the game and helped Veszprem pull away. The Hungarian side took a 28:24 win that pushes them up into second place in the standings.

HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs HC Vardar (MKD) 31:22 (12:13)

It was a do-or-die game for the Belarussian side, who were already six points behind Porto, another loss would have seriously damaged any chances of progression to the Last 16 phase.

Russian left back Alexander Shkurinskiy single-handedly lifted Brest against the title holders, scoring five goals, as Slovenian left wing Simon Razgor added another three. The deadlock had failed to be broken after 22 minutes, with the score at 9:9.

A 3:0 run for Brest saw the hosts take an unexpected lead, but Vardar used Stojanche Stoilov’s form to earn a one-goal lead at the break, 13:12.

With the Last 16 berth on the line, Meshkov produced their best half of the season in the VELUX EHF Champions League, starting with a 4:1 run to throw off the second half.

11 goals from right wing Mikita Vailupau in the second half lifted Brest to a superb 31:22 win, that helped them stay in the hunt, closing the gap to sixth-placed Vardar to only five points.

Montpellier HB (FRA) vs FC Porto Sofarma (POR) 22:27 (10:14)

Three weeks ago, Montpellier saved a crucial point in the dying seconds against Porto and thought they knew what needed to be done to make the Portuguese side pay in important moments, as they attempted to close in on Kiel in first place.

But Montpellier’s attack failed to get off to a good start, as the Portuguese champions bided their time, extended the attacks and jumped to a 5:2 lead after nine minutes.

The French side kept close courtesy of three Killian Vileminot goals, but another 3:0 run from Porto extended their advantage to 14:10 at to the break.

There was nothing that the French side could do to get back in the game, despite Diego Simonet’s best attempts. The Argentinian playmaker scored five times, but Montpellier consistently failed to get their groove, as they fell behind and could not catch up.

Porto’s fourth win this season, a comprehensive 27:22 win, cemented their challenge for a Last 16 berth, as the Portuguese champions are now only one point behind Montpellier in the standings.

After the game Porto player Miguel Martins Soares said "We’re extremely happy with this win, I think the key to our victory was our excellent defense. We now have to concentrate on our next match, against motor on Wednesday".

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / JS