|13.10.2008, 12:31||◄ last page|
8 out of the 32 remain spotless. The weekend brought no big surprises. Read the summary of all the games.
CL summary: Men’s Round 2
Eight clubs have clean sheet after Round 2 in the Men’s EHF Champions League: three teams from Spain (Ciudad Real, Ademar Leon and FC Barcelona Borges), two from Germany (THW Kiel, HSV Hamburg), one from France (Chambery HB), Russia (Chechovski Medvedi) and Hungary (MKB Veszprém).
The biggest surprise of the round was a clear victory of Russian Medvedi against Portland San Antonio. In the most difficult group, Zagreb and Rhein Neckar Löwen are on top after winning their matches. They have three points now.
Chambery (now 4 points) continued their way to the Main Round with an en easy victory against Karys. The Lithuanians lost their second match already. Even as the hosts had Aidenjas Malasinskas in their team (scored 14 goals), the French team dominated the whole match. The game was already decided by halftime. The top star of the French, Daniel Narcisse, could even have a rest in the second half as his club wasn’t in trouble anymore.
After losing against Chambery in round 1, Celje gained a lot of self confidence from beating Hammarby very clearly. Only 1 500 fans showed up for the match. Celje’s coach, Tone Tiselj, was very satisfied at the end: “We performed better than in our last two matches. Our defence worked on a higher level.” His team remained in the lead all the time and after a five-goal gap at halftime the Slovenians went up to ten goals for the first time at 29:19. Both goalkeepers showed strong performances. Reznar (Celje) saved 16 shots and Aström (Hammarby) 14. Swedish coach Staffan Olsson was not satisfied with the second half: “We started well, but then our defence became weaker because we were tired.” The top scorers were Spiler (Celje, 8) and Karlsson (Hammarby, 5).
The favourites of Group B had no problems with their opponents. GOG had a special holiday in Greece and took the two points against Doukas. As the Greek team did not have enough power for the second half, GOG won by 19 goals. The best players were Kasper Nielsen and Fredrik Petersen.
The match between Ciudad Real and Sarajevo started equally. Ciudad took the lead for the first time only at 8:6. But then a series of 11:3 created a comfortable halftime lead 19:9 for the title holders. The match was decided by that time. Bosna, beaten Doukas in the first round, didn’t have a chance in Spain and the difference just grew bigger and bigger. Jerome Fernandez played his first ever Champions League match for his new club and he was also the top scorer with six goals together with Olafur Stefansson.
Everything is ready for the first “clash of titans” next weekend when Kiel will play in Barcelona. Both clubs won their matches very easily and both have 4 points on their account. THW didn’t even need the Karabatic, Lövgren and Ahlm – slightly injured – to take the points from Norway on Wednesday. Especially the wing players, Klein and Kavticnik, showed extraordinary performance.
Barcelona have beaten Skopje mostly with a better defence. The 19 goals suggest a perfect defensive performance – the lowest number of goals received since the 2004/2005 season. The opponent back than was another Macedonian side, Vardar Skopje (26:12).
“We won the match thanks to Venio and to our intensity after the break,” said Manolo Cadenas, coach of Barcelona. In his team - supported by 2 800 fans - Victor Tomas was the most prolific with six goals. Tomas was also very satisfied with the second 30 minutes: “We played so hard in the second half that they gave up.”
In the duel of the northern lights, Hamburg won two very important points to lead the table with four points. FCK’s coach, Magnus Andersson was a little bit disappointed: “I’m very proud of my team that we played well and showed a great spirit against one of the very best handball teams in Europe. We learnt a lot from this game and it was very interesting for me to see that we are not so far from a German top club.” HSV coach Martin Schwalb was relieved: “It was a deserved victory against a good team. This was important for us with the current Champions League structure. We know that we must take as many points as possible from the Group Stage.”
As the two favourites met in Denmark, the Slovak Tatran presov took their first points against Beograd. The 1 500 spectators gave standing ovation to the team after the match that was decided by Tatran’s goalkeeper Krupa. When Presov took a 14:8 lead, it seemed to be easy, but Beograd equalised after the break (17:17). With the saves of Krupa, Presov decided the match by mid second half.
The nine goals of wing player Timur gave Chekhov the two points against Portland. After 12:12, Medvedi scored five goals in a row and paved the way to an important victory. The best scorer for Portland was Kjelling with eight goals.
Steaua hosted Koper in front of 1 500 fans and in a great atmosphere. The Romanian champions won a tense match with a very strong last 15 minutes. Koper were still leading at halftime by four goals and later by 25:23. However, Steaua turned the game at the end with the 8 goals of Sania and also with the 12 saves of goalkeeper Ciobanu. The best Koper player was Mrvaljevic with 7 goals.
With the 8 goals of Christiansen and Muratovic, Haukar had no chance against Flensburg. The Germans gained their first two points of the season by beating the Icelandic champions very clearly. Flensburg were supported by 6 100 fans and they improved for the second halftime. Haukar didn’t have the power to resist against the Germans.
MKB Veszprém are on top of the group after winning in the Ukraine. The 10 goals of Vujin and 7 of Gál gave the Hungarians an easy victory. Due to a high class performance of goalkeeper Dejan Peric once again and a brilliant 5:0 series at the beginning, Veszprém was never in danger, especially as the Hungarian defence stood like a wall. The best scorer for Zaporozhye was Burak with six goals.
After losing against Leon, Montpellier gained some confidence this weekend. However, the result shows an easier game than in reality it was. Zürich already had a four-goal lead in the first half, but they made too many mistakes to keep the advantage. The French champions were back on track and Montpellier punished Zürich with counter attacks. Especially active was the Olympic champion Guigou who scored 11 goals. At 23:24 the Swiss team had the chance to equalise for the last time. After that they had to admit defeat in Montpellier. The best Zürich scorers were Frank Löke and Jan-Hendrik Behrends with 7 goals each.
Bregenz were close to a big sensation, but in the end the Spanish favourites took the points. Ademar are leading the group with two victories. The 1 800 spectators tried everything to help the Austrians, but after leading by one goal at halftime, ten weak minutes of Bregenz were enough for Leon to clinch the victory. When it was 24:19 for the Spanish team the match was already decided despite the 12 goals of Roland Schlinger.
With the first ever CL victory in Rhein Neckar Löwen’s history, the Germans are now leading the table together with Zagreb that won easily against Plock. RNL turned the game in Hungary after the break as Karol Bielecki scored seven goals:
After a bitter feeling after the draw against Löwen in Round 1, Zagreb can already hold their heads high after a clear victory against Plock – even without Mirza Dzomba and Ivano Balic watching the game from the stands.
Men's EHF CL Group Phase
TEXT: Björn Pazen