Tatran Presov cause major sensation, Telekom Veszprem lose top match at Magdeburg
Maschineseeker EHF Champions League
Telekom Veszprem missed the great chance to qualify directly for the quarter-finals already in round 12 by the 25:32 (15:16) defeat in the top match at SC Magdeburg. For almost 40 minutes, the team of head coach Momir Ilic was on an equal level despite a weak start, but then they failed too often against strong goalkeeper Nikola Portner.
Andreas Nilson, Manuel Strlek and Rasmus Lauge scored five goals each. In defence, Veszprem could nit stop the duo Kay Smits and Philipp Weber, who both scored nine goals. After the draw in the home match. Veszprem lost the direct encounter against Magdeburg – and two rounds before the end, both sides are on 16 points, four below top team Paris. Veszprem still have the matches against Porto at home and at Paris ahead, while Magdeburg next week travel to PPD Zagreb followed by the home match against Bucharest. If both clubs are equal at the end of the group phase, Magdeburg will book the straight ticket to the quarter-finals, while Veszprem then would have to play in the play-offs.
The match of PPD Zagreb at FC Porto needed to be postponed due to travel problems at Frankfurt airport. On Wednesday all flights had to be cancelled due to technical problems, on Friday the airport was closed due to strike of the staff. The new playing date is not confirmed yet.
Group A: PSG 20 (+45), Magdeburg 16 (+27), Telekom Veszprem 16 (+20), GOG 13 (4), Dinamo Bucuresti 11 (-15), PPD Zagreb 8 (-18), Wisla Plock 7 (-33), Porto 3 (-30).
EHF European League
Tatran Presov are still on track for the Last16 after one of the biggest surprises of the current European League season. Boosted by ten goals of Oliver Rabek and ten saves of goalkeeper Marcos Colodeti, the Slovak champions were the first team to beat former EHF Champions League winners Montpellier in the group phase. An incredible first half, finished with a 19:10 lead against the French side, was the key for the clear 35:27 victory. Having four points on their account, Tatran still can proceed, being only two points below fourth ranked defending champions Benfica Lisbon.
Group A: Montpellier 14 (+33), Goppingen 12 (+45), Kadetten 10 (+11), Benfica 6 (0), Tatran Presov 4 (-30), Veszpremi KKFT 2 (-59).
In Group C, Nexe Nasice consolidated their top position by a 31:28 (16:14) win over Balatonfuredi in Hungary. Nexe had some problems to score against strong Balatonfured goalkeeper Arian Ando, but finally line player Gianfranco Pribetic with seven goals and back court player Luka Moslavac (six goals) were the crucial factors for Nexe’s seventh win in eight matches. When Moslavac scored for the 25:20, his side was on the winners’ way but had to fight hard resistance of the hosts until the end. New second ranked team is Sporting from Lisbon, Nexe’s last opponent in the group phase. All four Last16 participants of this group are already confirmed: Nexe, Sporting, Granollers (ESP) and Skjern (DEN).
Group C: Nexe 14 (+31), Sporting 12 (+18), Granollers 10 (+11), Skjern 8 (+7), Balatonfuredi 3 (-30), Alpla Hard 1 (-34).
Eurofarm Pelister served a true thriller in Bitola as the final shot decided the crucial group D match against Aguas Santas Milaneza from Portugal when Joao Gomes’ missed Milaneza’s chance both sides share the points with a 27:27. 40 seconds before the end, Zarko Peshevski had levelled the result for the hosts with a penalty shot. Eurofarm Pelister were never behind in the first 45 minutes, but there was never much between the sides and the visitors took the lead for the first time at 21:20 and pulled ahead to 24:21, before Eurofarm Pelister enjoyed a 4:1 run to go level. Mirko Radovic scored five times for Eurofarm Pelister, Peshevski netted four goals for the team of Lars Walther, which remains fourth ranked, but only two points ahead of the Portuguese hunters. Those two sides, Bidasoa Irun and Motor Zaporozhye are still in the race for two Last spots.
Group D: Fuchse Berlin 16 (+62), Skanderborg Aarhus 12 (+27), Bidasoa Irun 7 (-2), Eurofarm Pelister 6 (-21), Aguas Santas 4 (-37), Motor 3 (-29),