Berlin and Skanderborg extend their run
Füchse Berlin and Skanderborg-Aarhus remain tied at the top of group D after their third victory each in the same number of matches. Both sides added clear away wins to their tally. Irun were the only home team in this group to take two points on Tuesday, but had to struggle hard for 40 minutes against HC Motor.
Despite the great support from their fans, Eurofarm Pelister were chanceless and lost their second home match in a true goal-fest. Füchse Berlin, on the other side of things, extended their run to three victories in three matches - the best player was Füchse goalkeeper Viktor Kireev with 15 saves. Thanks to his performance in the initial stages, Berlin pulled ahead to 10:6 and to the decisive half-time score of 22:14. After 33 minutes the gap was in the double figures for the first time at 26:16. The final score was the the second-highest in the group phase so far, with a combined total of 77 goals - just below the 82 goals in the match between Valur vs FTC (43:39). The best scorers were Milos Vujovic (Berlin) and Zharko Peshevski (Eurofarm Pelister) with eight goals each.
Congratulations to Berlin, they played better and deserve the points. If you want to play a competitive game against Füchse Berlin you must have 16 players and our fans. In this moment we have a lot of injuries and our reaction in the second half is the best part of the match.
Skanderborg-Aarhus remain the surprise pack of the European League, winning their third consecutive away match after those at Bitola (against Eurofarm Pelister) and Düsseldorf (against Motor). The deal was already sealed at the break and the visitors never trailed throughout the match. The last time the result was level was at 4:4; after which Skanderborg-Aarhus profited from a 4:0 run and extended the gap to seven goals. Backed by the goals of Thomas Sommer Arnoldsen (8) and Morten Balling (7) and the 15 saves of strong goalkeeper Salah Boutaf, the visitors were not endangered by Aguas Santas anymore and shortly were even ahead by 10 goals. The hosts remain at the bottom of the group after this result and are still waiting for their first points.
HC Motor showed their by far their best performance of this season in the first half. Their strong defence stopped Irun’s attackers, and in attack, Ihor Turchenko and Dmytro Horiha were the driving forces for the surprising 12:9 scoreline at the break. But then the hosts struck back and levelled the result at 12:12 - and after Turchenko’s red card in the 37th minute (after three suspensions), Motor had lost one of their crucial players. Irun turned the match around thanks to the improvement of goalkeeper Medhi Harboui (13 saves in total) and allowed Motor only four goals in the first 16 minutes of the second half. By the time Mikkel Zabala netted for a decisive 21:16 lead, Irun had taken full control. Jon Azkue Saizar (Irun) was the top scorer of the match with six goals.