Tatabanya take first win in thrillerArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: Tatabanya had to wait until the very last seconds of their game against La Rioja to take their first two points of the Men's EHF Cup group phase

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Tatabanya take first win in thriller

While Füchse Berlin look like firm favourites in group D, the three other teams have the ambition to fight with the 2018 Men's EHF Cup winners in the run for first place.

Grundfos Tatabanya KC and BM Logroño La Rioja both showed their ambition in a thrilling match on Saturday, with the Hungarian side narrowly defeating their Spanish opponents in the last 10 seconds.

  • Tatabanya led by up to four goals but La Rioja came back in the final minutes of the game
  • Tatabanya’s Gabor Ancsin is the game's top scorer with six goals
  • Rudolph Hackbarth netted five times for La Rioja
  • on Sunday, PAUC host Füchse Berlin in the second game of the first round in group D

Grundfos Tatabanya KC (HUN) vs BM Logroño La Rioja (ESP) 26:25 (15:11)

We had to wait until the last part of the first half before either of the two teams really broke away on the scoreboard.

Before that, the packed house in Györ had witnessed a tough battle between the two teams. Whenever one scored, their opponents scored immediately afterwards.

But this goal trade stopped abruptly in the 18th minute, and the Spanish side subsequently did not get past László Bartucz for nine minutes.

Tatabanya's good defensive spell came right after a timeout that also allowed the hosts to find better offensive solutions.

Thanks to left-hander Gabor Ancsin, who scored three times in the last 10 minutes of the half, Tatabanya were ahead by four at the break (15:11), which was the biggest advantage of the game.

The hosts picked up where they left off when they came back on the court, with their defence and goalkeeper proving to be really effective.

It was only thanks to Sergey Hernandez, La Rioja’s last wall, that the gap between the two teams did not grow bigger than four goals.

And when you do not make the most of your opportunities, things can quickly turn around the other way, which is exactly what happened in this game.

La Rioja came back within one, thanks to right wing Rudolph Hackbarth, and with less than 10 minutes to play, a tight end to the game was in sight.

The tight end to the game duly materialised, as the result was only decided in the last five seconds.

La Rioja line player Tomislav Kusan thought he had equalised to give his team a draw, but Adrian Sipos scored from a quick throw-off and gave Tatabanya their first two points of the group phase (26:25).

Tatabanya goalkeeper László Bartucz saw the importance of the narrow win but also felt that he could have played better in the second period.

He said: "We played today against a very strong opponent. I’m nervous because I should have made more saves in the second part of the game. Anyway, I think these one-goal victories can make a big difference at the end, so I hope this will give us more strength for the next matches."

TEXT: Kevin Domas / jw