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14.02.2010, 10:54◄ last page     

Zagreb, Leon and Kolding are through to last 16.

11 teams already qualified for next round

After Montpelier, Hamburgand Chechov had qualified for the last 16 of Men’s Champions League in the weekday matches, on Saturday Zagreb, Kolding and Leon followed them like Kiel, Barcelona, Ciudad Real, Veszprem and Löwen did before. After the Saturday’s matches of round 7, in group D all four participants of the next stage are known. In group B Kielce still need only one point after losing against Rhein Neckar Löwen. There will be a tough fight for the fourth place after Bosna has tied against Gorenje. Both teams and Chambery are equal with three points. In group C Ciudad Real is still the only spotless team in the whole competition. By beating FCK, Zagreb qualified for the last 16. The Danes only need one victory to follow the Croats.

Group B:

Bosna Gas Sarajewo – Gorenje Velenje 31:31 (17:15)

Bosna was the dominant team of the first half and even extended their lead to 21:17 in the beginning of the second half thanks to their outstanding goalkeeper Grahovac and in total nine goals of Doborac. But then the great gala of Gorenje winger Ivan Cupic started: The Croat led the Slovenians in the derby to the 20:21. But Bosna tried hard to win the match, went away to 28:25, before the Bosnians lacked some power in the end. Gorenje turned the match by four consecutive goals to 29:28, as the high tensioned final stage began. Zvizej brought back the lead to Gorenje (30:29), but as Cupic missed two great chances, Bosna equalized again. After the 31:31 Velenje had 25 seconds to decide the match, but Grahovac secured the point for Bosna with his 19th save against Jure Natek. Gorenje coach Branko Tamse said: „We knew that this would be a tough match. Before the game I would have been satisfied with one point, but now I’m disappointed.“„I’m disappointed, too“, Danijel Ridica, Bosna’s assistant coach, said: „We lost an importantpoint.”

Vive Targi Kielce – Rhein Neckar Löwen 32:35 (19:15)

In the first half both teams played very fast, and Kielce had the better end with a four goal lead, attended by more than 4000 spectators. In the second half Löwen Coach Ola Lindgren changed his defense, and the Polish champion had enormous problems with the 5:1 system. As the number of Kielce’s mistakes arose, the Germans came closer, equalized in minute 51 (31:31), took the lead and decided the match. The decisive factor was the bigger experience of the Löwen – and again goalkeeper Henning Fritz. Thanks to the victory, Löwen still can hope for becoming number one in the group. Topscorers were Uwe Gensheimer (Löwen/10) and former Löwen player Mariusz Jurasik (Kielce/7). “We don’t have to blame ourselves”, Jurasik said: “Sometimes such matches happen, it's not possible to win every game.” On the other hand, Polish Löwen player Karol Bielecki was satisfied: “It was an important game, the result gives us a good position in the group.”

MKB Veszprem – Chambery Savoie 31:26 (19:13)

Thanks to their good start, Veszprem was the dominating team in the whole 60 minutes. After the 10:5, Chambery came closer only a little, as the Hungarians extended the lead to a comfortable 19:13 at the break. Right at the start of the second half, Chambery had their best stage and reduced the gap to 21:23. But then goalkeeper Peric and topscorer Sesum (8 goals) improved and Veszprem didn’t have anymore problems with the French counterpart. The game was decided in minute 54 ad the score of 29:21. Chambery’s top scorer was a Hungarian: Császár scored seven times. “It was a well deserved victory for Veszprem”, Chambery coach Philippe Gardien said: “Peric played outstanding.” Veszprem coach Lajos Mocsai said: „It was our first international match after a long break. We didn’t play so well, but we fought hard to win.”

Group C:

BM Ciudad Real – Allingsas HK 28:24 (18:12)

“We played our best match in this season”, Ake Hein, coach of Alingsas, said: “Some players had a level I never saw before.” The Swedish team, supported by 50 fans in Spain,was close to a sensation at the reigning CL champion, but Ciudad always had the means to decide the match and took their seventh victory in the seventh match of this season. Right in the first half, Alingsas was surprisingly strong and the biggest distance, Ciudad was in lead was four goals (10:6, 14:10). Until the middle of the second half this distance remained, until the Spaniards decided the match at the score of 24:18. But one thought Allingsas would give up, was wrong: The Swedish champion kept up until the final whistle. Ciudad coach Talant Dujshebaev said: “We did a great effort, the players were really focused on the match, but we need to improve for the future. We did a good job in defense, but in attack we have to improve. The players recently came from the European Championship and the team needs time to play as before the competition”. Top scorers were Evdokimov (Ciudad/8 goals) and Andersson (Allingsas/4).

HC CO Zagreb – FCK Handbold 31:22 (17:7)

FCK didn’t have the slice of a chance in Zagreb. After the 5:0, the Danes gave up very early and scored only seven goals before the break. After the first half the game was decided with the ten goal difference of the Croats. As Zagreb slowed down after the break – as the winner was obvious – FCK could reduce the gap a little – and despite the clear victory they still have good chances to qualify for the last 16 as fourth team of group C. Zagreb is through and will fight with Hamburg for the second place.

Group D:

Amicitia Zürich – KIF Kolding 23:26 (9:10)

Like Ademar Leon 15 minutes before, Kolding has qualified for the last 16 with an easy victory in Zürich. Match winner for the Danes was substitute goalkeeper Anders Petersen. Kolding was in lead 10:6, before the Swiss champion reduced the distance to 9:10 at the break. Afterwards the victory for Kolding was never endangered, as the lead was constantly between three and five goals until the 20:18, when Zürich could hope to equalize for the only time in the second half. The match was decided, when Kolding’s top scorer Bo Spellerberg hit the back of the net to the score of 23:19. Best player for Zürich was goalkeeper Arunas Vaskevicius, top scorer was Marcel Hess with five goals.

Vardar Skopje – Ademar Leon 24:31 (11:18)

Ademar needed a „wake-up call“, but then the Spanish express started: After Vardar was in lead 7:3, Leon scored an incredible series of 10:0 goals and then extended the lead to seven goals at the break. In minute 52 the gap in this one sided match was ten goals (29:19) – but the game had been decided earlier. The Leon defense stood very strong and the Croatian players Bicanic (9 goals) and Buntic (7) were the stars in attack. After qualifying for the next stage, Leon coach Jorge Ribera now hopes for the second place in group D.

TEXT: Björn Pazen

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