Day review 1: Flensburg and La Rioja win away thrillers
The EHF European League Men returned from its two-week national team break on Tuesday evening with the first eight games in round 3 of the group matches. SG Flensburg-Handewitt (in Elverum) and Logroño La Rioja (in Vojvodina) came away with narrow one-goal wins, while MOL Tatabánya KC impressed with a home victory over Sporting.
From the Top 5 Matches
A strike from Dutch international Kay Smits 11 seconds before the end made SG Flensburg-Handewitt jump for joy after a true thriller. The match at Elverum went back and fourth for 60 minutes. The biggest gap before the break were two goals, once – at 20:17 – Flensburg were ahead by three goals. In the last 11 minutes Elverum were ahead five times, Flensburg only twice: at 32:31 and at the final result. Best scorer was Elverum’s Tobias Grøndahl with 10 goals, for Flensburg Lasse Møller netted seven times. The German side kept their clean record, while Elverum remain on two points.
Once again we show that we are able to fight with the big guys. Flensburg played a very good game, but I am proud of our boys. If we can get the same match in Germany next week, there are possibilities to get the points back home.
Logroño La Rioja were the first to beat Vojvodina in this European League season for their own first win in three matches. The match was on the edge, the visitors decided the fully equal encounter in the last 20 minutes, turning a 14:15 deficit into a 18:15 lead thanks to a 4:0 run.
This three-goal advantage was the base to keep control, and when Xavier Tua Hernandez stroke for 25:22 in minute 58, the match was decided as a comeback from the hosts came too late. Thanks to this win, La Rioja are only one point below the top duo Vojvodina and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg. Eduardo Cadarso scored seven times for the victors.
I think the key was in the smart attack. A very important game, in a difficult atmosphere. With this victory, we remain in the race for the next round. I hope that next week we will play even better.
MOL Tatabánya KC beat Sporting before the teams meet again in Lisbon next week and passed the Portuguese side in the group standings. It could even have been a clearer win for the hosts. The first crucial period was when the Hungarian side turned a 6:9 deficit into a 13:10 lead within only 12 minutes. Then Sporting improved, but could not turn the match around anymore. One reason was the scoring percentage of top talent Francisco Costa, who only netted five times from 11 attempts. By minute 48, when Tatabánya’s top scorer Gábor Ancsin scored of his six goals in total for 25:20, the match was decided.
Today was a mental victory for us. We could develop a lot mentally and this made us play like real tigers today. We could stop the fast game of Sporting, this was our key to success.
In case you missed it...
group H leaders Constanta conceded only eight goals in the first half against Glogow; the 28:17 result was the biggest winning margin in Tuesday’s early session
Hannover-Burgdorf were down for 40 minutes against AEK Athens on home ground but ultimately turned the tide for a 31:25 victory, with seven goals from line player Justus Fischer
goalkeeper Mikkel Løvkvist was Bjerringbro-Silkeborg’s hero at the 31:23 win at Alkaloid with 18 saves, for a 46 percentage; the Macedonian side, coached by Kiril Lazarov, still wait for their first victory, the Danish club remain on main round course
nine different players on the scorer list, six of them with four or more goals – Nantes’ 31:27 at Kristiansand in Sweden was a true team performance
goalkeeper Matevs Skok was on an incredible save rate of 51% (17 saves in total) as he helped Velenje to earn an easy-going 28:20 win against Cuenca
- see all results from the group matches in round 3 that started at 18:45 CET
I am a little bit disappointed because it is the second time in a row we miss five penalties at our home European game. I don't know what the issue is, but we need to fix that. Bjerringbro-Silkeborg have more experience than us in Europe, but missing the seven-metre shots and the fact that we have missed a few open shots, were definitely a key for this game.
main image © 2023 Veronika S. Larsen