Healthy win sees Plock in control against Irun
It was a flawless first half from Orlen Wisla Plock, who limited their opponents to only 11 goals while boasting a 74 per cent attacking efficiency, that ultimately led to the first-leg win in the group phase knockout match in Poland on Saturday afternoon.
There was no comeback attempt from Bidasoa Irun, who are on a five-game winless run in all competitions, as the Polish side take a seven-goal lead, 32:25, into the second leg of the VELUX EHF Champions League C/D elimination round.
Plock take a big step towards their fifth Last 16 berth in seven VELUX EHF Champions League seasons
Polish wing Michal Daszek is the top scorer, with nine goals for Plock
the second leg will take place next Saturday in Irun
GROUP PHASE KNOCKOUT
Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs Bidasoa Irun (ESP) 32:25 (17:11)
Back in the VELUX EHF Champions League after 24 years, Bidasoa Irun had the chance to secure their first ever Last 16 berth.
With two Spanish players in their roster and a Spanish coach on the bench, Xavi Sabate, Plock knew what they were up against. The hosts had the better start, as Spanish centre back Niko Mindegia Elizaga scored twice to put the Polish side ahead, 5:2.
Bidasoa were quick to take a timeout, but they still lost control of the game. A 4:0 run from Plock, spurred by the same Mindegia and Polish right wing Michal Daszek, saw the hosts open a 14:8 gap, as Bidasoa failed to score for five minutes.
Fresh from last season’s woes, when their qualification hopes nearly collapsed against Bjerringbro-Silkeborg due to a bad second half in the second leg, Plock never looked nervous and cruised to a 17:11 lead at the break.
As Bidasoa had only a 44 per cent attacking efficiency in the first half, they needed to improve in attack. Slowly, the visitors became more ruthless, only for Plock to keep the gap steady, 21:15.
Playmaker Jon Azkue was Bidasoa’s top scorer, with seven goals, but Plock’s right wing Daszek had a flawless game – in attack, where he scored nine goals, and in defence, where he had three steals to initiate devastating fast breaks.
Left back Zoltan Szita also contributed with seven goals for Plock, who never looked back, despite Bidasoa trying to mount a comeback.
The superb 32:25 win sees Plock take a seven-goal lead for the second leg, and they are now the favourites to proceed to the Last 16.
“From one side, I am fully satisfied with the final score. On the other hand, this result can be very dangerous for us. This is not the real difference between our teams and we must go to Irun with full respect and concentration,” said Plock coach Xavier Sabate.Author: Adrian Costeiu / cg