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24.02.2011, 18:05◄ last page     

Germans are number one in Group D after clear victory in St. Petersburg.

Flensburg take the lead

Round 9 of the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League was no good omen for the Russian clubs: One day after the defeat of Chekhovski Medvedi in Winterthur against Schaffhausen St. Petersburg lost their ninth game on Thursday.

The Russian runners-up were chanceless against SG Flensburg-Handewitt in Group D and lost 25:31 (9:17). For Flensburg it was the second victory within five days after beating Ciudad Real on Sunday 25:23.

Thanks to this result Flensburg took the lead in this group with currently 14 points and rank ahead of Ciudad Real (13) and Zagreb (12) – those teams will meet in the direct duel on Sunday in Spain.

After the clear 34:22 in the first encounter the Germans took the control in St. Petersburg very early too. By increasing the gap to eight goals at the break they had paved the winner’s way. But coach Ljubomir Vranjes had to take an early time-out as his players lacked concentration and St. Petersburg reduced to 14:18 in minute 36. But when goalkeeper Sören Rasmussen showed some important saves the gap increased again to 27:20 and 29:22. Top scorer was again left wing Anders Eggert with nine goals. When the victory was obvious, Flensburg decelerated and St. Petersburg reduced the gap to six goals in the end.

“Those two points are highly important to reach our goal, the second place,” SG coach Ljubomir Vranjes said: “As we face Bosna in our last match we have good chances to finish second what would mean a quite good base for the knock-out stage.”

Despite the defeat the Russians are not out of the race for the Last 16 – but the chance to go on is low as they need to take points from their last match in Zagreb.

TEXT: Björn Pazen

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