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11.11.2009, 23:10◄ last page     

Victories for Valladolid, Barcelona and Löwen in the Wednesday matches.

Martinez gala in Greece

Three expected victories of the favourites – this is the result of the three Wednesday games of the Men’s Champions League on matchday 5. Barcelona, Valladolid and Rhein Neckar Löwen seem to go straight for their first objective, the last 16. As Barcelona and Löwen have eight points on their account, Valladolid has seven.

Group A:

PAOK Saloniki – Pevafersa Valladolid 27:37 (11:23)

Easy and clear victory for the Spanish team in Greece: after 30 minutes the game was decided, in halftime two Valladolid coach Pastor changed his team completely and gave young players time to play, like Gonzalo Porras, who experienced his first CL match ever. This biggest distance were 13 goals at the score of 33:20, in the end, still pointless team of PAOK could reduce the gap to ten goals.

Topscorer of the match and the whole CL season was Chuchi Martinez, who scored 17 goals, Kokomis was PAOK best player with seven goals. Valladolid is currently leading the table of group A, but Montpellier and Constanta can overtake the Spaniards on Sunday.

Group B

Rhein Neckar Löwen – Gorenje Velenje 33:30 (17:15)

Hard, but successful work for the Löwen: It took 40 minutes, until the Germans had taken the control of the game, but in the end, these two points mean a lot for them: “We’re number one in our group, we’re still unbeaten, and we have shown our confidence after the two draws in Champions League and Bundesliga. After twice giving a huge lead from our hands, we managed to keep it this time in the final stage of the match”, coach Ola Lindgren said. Topscorers of his team were Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson with seven goals and Andrej Klimovets with six, Ivan Cupic scored eight times for the brave fighting team from Slovenia.

The match was quite equal until minute 25, as Velenje was leading 14:13. Thanks to four consecutive goals Löwen secured an 17:14 at the break – and the Germans extended this gap to 25:19 in minute 40 and a pre decisive 31:22 in minute 50. Due to an 8:2 series in the very last minutes, Velenje decreased the distance to more comfortable three goals. “We played on a constant high level for 50 minutes”, Löwen coach Lindgren said: “Our objective is to play like this for 60 minutes.” His team is in lead in group B with now eight points and a six point lead on the fifth place, taken by Velenje currently.

Group D

Vardar Skopje – FC Barcelona 28:35 (17:16)

Barcelona took the favourite role and is currently leading the table of group D with eight points, one point ahead of Kiel, playing against Zurich this weekend. Despite a very good performance in the first half, Skopje remained with only one point. Barcelona were blocked in the first half. The hosts were leading 11:8 already and were equal to Barcelona all the way before the break. Siarhei Rutenka was involved in an altercation with Vardar players in the 28th minute. Rutenka and Makaloski received a red card. It was 17:16 for the FYR Macedonians at halftime.

The second half was the period of the Danish Barca player and top scorer, Mikkel Hansen, who scored all his eight goals after the break. After the 23:19 for the Spaniards, Skopje’s resistance was broken. The biggest difference was nine goals at 34:25 for Barca, in the end they won by seven. Goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez played his first international match for Barcelona, replacing the injured David Barrufet. Pesic was Vardar's topscorer with five goals.

TEXT: Björn Pazen

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