Tamminen and Nenita strike cruel blow to Sporting’s hopes of progression
Tatran Presov finally got their first victory of this season’s VELUX EHF Champions League with a late comeback away to HC Eurofarm Rabotnik, who in turn suffered their fourth one-goal loss of the campaign. Meanwhile, Sporting blew their chance to close the gap on the top two in group C after losing an entertaining back-and-forth match away to Cocks, who now sit just one point behind them after securing a second straight home win.
- Cocks surprise Sporting with solid home performance grab their second win of the season
- Teemu Tamminen the hero for the Finnish side with six goals
- Presov score their first win of the season thanks to a 5:0 run late in the match against Rabotnik
- For the fourth time this season, Rabotnik suffer a one-goal defeat
Cocks (FIN) vs Sporting CP (POR) 25:23 (12:11)
Having seen Irun defeat Sävehof in Sunday’s opening group C match, Sporting were handed a golden opportunity to bring themselves within a single point of the top two with a win over Cocks. Thierry Anti’s men knew the two points would not be handed to them on a plate in Finland and so it proved as Cocks were the first to open up an advantage of note, thanks to Roni Syrjälä making it 7:5 at the quarter-hour-mark.
Sporting displayed their experience and quality to stay in touch throughout the half, thanks largely to five goals from Romanian wing Valentin Ghionea, trailing by a single goal at the break. The second half continued in the same vein, with Cocks making life difficult for their guests and it became clear that this game was going down to the wire.
Vitalie Nenita and Teemu Tamminen hit a rich vein of scoring form in the second period, scoring nine goals between them, and it was captain Tamminen who stepped up to give Cocks the lead with two minutes remaining.
Arnaud Bingo equalised for Sporting soon after, but the aforementioned duo scored the final pair of goals to give Cocks a second successive home victory and strike a cruel blow to Sporting’s chances of progression.
Teemu Tamminen was very pleased with the outcome of the game saying: "I want to thank our fans. This is the kind of result we are capable of getting with the great support we got today. I am really happy about the result, this was maybe my biggest win so far. Both teams really wanted to win today, but we had a little bit more luck in the final minute."
HC Eurofarm Rabotnik (MKD) vs TATRAN Presov (SVK) 23:24 (14:13)
Having enjoyed the taste of victory at this level for the first time last week, Rabotnik were visably hungry for more as they raced into an early lead with Mirko Radovic giving them a 3:1 lead in the fifth minute.
Neither side were able to fully grasp control of the contest in the first half, however, with the North Macedonian club keeping their noses in front for much of it. Lukas Urban gave Presov their first lead since the opening goal, going 13:12 ahead, but Rabotnik immediately snatched the incentive back with two quick goals and held a narrow advantage at half-time.
The host’s aggressive defence forced Presov to rush their attacks and give up the ball too easily in the second half, while Vladislav Ostroushku and Elmir Gradjan helped propel them to a significant 21:17 advantage. But like we have seen for the majority of their maiden VELUX EHF Champions League voyage, Rabotnik crumbled from there and Presov went on a 5:0 run.
What a superb finish from David Madzovski but unfortunately for #HCEurofarmRabotnik it wasn't enough as they lose by the narrowest of margins to @HT_TatranPresov in Group C! #veluxehfcl pic.twitter.com/TcjyIGHpUR— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) October 20, 2019
That was not the end of the drama, however, as relentless pace and spectacular goals from both sides left the match in the balance, before Janus Lapajne buried the winning goal for Presov with seconds remaining.
Presov's Mario Cvitkovic is hoping the victory kickstarts their campaign: "Its not easy to come here and to win against good team like Eurofarm Rabotnik. We have big problems during the season, but defense and great heart today give us the points. I hope this win can change our season."
The importance of Presov’s first points of the campaign was clear to see as the team celebrated while tears and embraces were shared by the Slovakian side’s coaches.Author: Chris O'Reilly / tj