Group phase, EHF VELUX Champions League
09.02.2014, Group C, Skopje, Macedonia
HC Vardar Skopje 30:22 HC Dinamo Minsk (14:11)
Vardar and Metalurg join MKB Veszprem, Rhein-Neckar, THW Kiel, Vieve Targi Kielce, KIF Kolding, Orlen Wisla Plock, FC Barcelona, PSG Handball, HSV Hamburg and SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the next stage of the EHF VELUX Champions League.
In the first match of Sunday’s program, Vardar at their home arena in from of 6000 spectators, booked their tickets for the Final 16 stage. They defeated Dinamo Minsk with 30-22.
The match started very nervous for both teams, Vardar had difficulties with their attack but the great goalkeeper Inaki Malumbres saved Vardar their 2 goals difference until 12th minute, when highly motivated and coordinated defense of Dinamo Minsk and good transition led to a tie, 5-5. Vardar players knew the meaning of this match, the stakes were high, but heir level rose again, and with great defending Vardar went on three goals advantage. Even though, the red card shown to Malumbres, shook the hosts a bit, they maintained this advantage until the half time whistle, and went on a break with 14-11.
In the second half, Vardar play was more fluent, they found a way to penetrate Minsk’s defense, which involved more freedom for the line players and wingers, and with great defending forced Dinamo to end their attacks from difficult positions. A game in which, Macedonian team had the control and gradually increased the score which in the end was eight goals difference 30-22.
Top scorers: Dibirov (Vardar) 8, Nincevic (Dinamo) 7, Rutenka (Dinamo) 7, Karacic (Vardar) 7
Raul Gonzalez Gutierrez, coach Vardar:
The match was very complicated for us, we had to win, and in the beginning it was pretty equal. But we’re well prepared because we know that they are a really good team, and have a quality coach, and therefore we had a big respect for them. I must stress that in this victory, we had great support from our fans.
Boris Denic, head coach Dinamo Minsk:
Normally I’m not talking about refereeing, but today the referees raised their hands too quickly in our attacks, signaling a passive game. At the same time handball “Vardar” could attack almost over the whole match. In such a situation, when your team has to attack very quickly, spending most of the time in defensive rhythm, game slows down. Besides all this, we had problems with implementation. Scoring only 22 goals in the Champions League, you do not have to dream about winning.
I would also like to note the support “Vardar” has from their fans, who are very loud and actively persecuted their team, and this ultimately had impact on the game. I want to encourage Minsk fans next week to come to Sports Palace and support “Dinamo” in a match with “Metalurg”.
09.02.2014, Group B, Brondby, Denmark
KIF Kolding Copenhagen 24:26 THW Kiel (13:13)
The German handball superpower THW Kiel disapointed the full TRE Arena Brøndby, who came to see their favourite club KIF Kolding Copenhagen. But the victory belonged to the visitors 24:26,There was fighting on two very important points in Champions League Group B, because the winner of this match showdown would be the winner of Group B.
After first half the game was still wide open. It was the Spanish Albert Rocas who initiated the first goal, , and then it was Torsten Laen via an elegant counterattack, who put the home team ahead 2-0. But the Germans had other ideas and turned slightly up the pace and scored four times in a row to make it 4-4.
Right from the start of the match it was clear that it was counter-attacks, where KIF should attempt to score most goals. The German central axis with René Toft Hansen conducting, closed everything down, and it seemed very difficult for KIF players to break through the compact German defense wall.
THW Kiel was always a few feet in front and could put themselves up to 5-7 after 17 minutes of play. But the hosts never gave up, and after 30 minutes of game they were still beside Kiel with 13-13.
THW Kiel came with the best line-up out of the locker room for the second half, and, with their experience and hardness made four goals difference 18-22 after 45 minutes of play, thus seemed KIF Kolding Copenhagen to be down in the sack. KIF led by a solid performer, Lasse Andersson fought up to 24-24 after 55 minutes of play. Unfortunately for the Danes, the team that was sharpest in the crucial facets was not them, Kiel managed their nerves better and went on to win 24-26.
Top scorers: Ekberg (THW Kiel) 8, Anderson (KIF Kolding) 7, Rocas (KIF Kolding) 6, Jicha (THW Kiel) 5, Vujin (THW Kiel) 5
09.02.2014, Group A, Mannheim, Germany
Rhein-Neckar Löwen 25:25 MKB Veszprem-MVM (12:13)
It was an equal game, from the first minute, Rhein Neckar and Veszprem deservingly split the points and are still first and second in Group A. Veszprem had the initiative and the advantage, which in 38th minute was three goals(15-18), but the hosts always managed to get back in the game. It was one of the most exciting matches this week, but a match that changed nothing in the rankings in Group A. Veszprem still leads and will probably win this group right before Rhein Neckar which is trailing behind with three points.
Rhein-Neckar Löwen: Landin, Stojanovic – Schmid (3/3), Gensheimer (10/2), Roggisch, Šešum, I. Guardiola (1) Manojlovic, Sigurmannsson, Gorbok (3), Myrhol ( 3) Groetzki (2), G. Guardiola (1), Petersson (2), Ekdahl Du Rietz.
MKB Veszprem MVM: Fazekas, Alilovic – Vilovski, Gulyas (1), G. Iváncsik, Schuch, T. Iváncsik, Ruesga (1), Ilic (12/2), Mocsai, Nagy (2) Ugalde (3), Rodriguez (1), Terzic, Sulic (5), Ligetvari.
Coach: Gudmundur Gudmundsson – Carlos Ortega
Penalty minutes: Groetzki (2) – Terzic (2), Schuch (2), Nagy (2).
Penalty throws: 6/5 – 2/2
Rhein-Neckar Löwen: Gensheimer fails to Fazekas
Best Players: Gensheimer – Alilovic, Ilic.