Veszprém leave Lisbon with a late win
Unable to take a commanding lead until the last 10 minutes, the visitors returned to Hungary with a win as home side Sporting CP fought with honour until their last breath, having led at the break.
- The first meeting between the two teams in the VELUX EHF Champions League
- Sporting is also the first Portuguese club in the Last 16, since the current format was introduced in 2010
- Peter Nenadic finished with eight goals as the best shooter of Veszprém while Valentin Marian Ghionea scored seven without missing
- Veszprém’s Laszlo Nagy’s 250th European Cup match
LAST 16, FIRST LEG
Sporting CP (POR) vs Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) 28:30 (15:14)
The home team surprised the Hungarian record champions as they quickly developed a three-goal lead in as many minutes.
Veszprém had gone into the match missing Kent Robin Tönnesen who got injured in the last practice before his team left for Portugal and his side struggled in the first half, unable to lead for the entire 30 minutes, going into the break 15:14 down.
But, David Davis’ squad ensured that Laszlo Nagy’s 250th European Cup match would not end in a loss as they came back with great efficiency in powerplays despite the players from Lisbon having an answer to this one possible solution, even increasing the lead at one point (23:20 – 43rd minute) before the Hungarians firmly gripped a winning end in their hands.
And just 10 minutes later, in the 53rd minute, the away team finally broke through and led for the first time in the rendezvous thanks to two goals from Dejan Manaskov, while goalkeeper Arpad Sterbik’s performance improved by huge numbers.
Veszprém stayed in front in the last few minutes and finished with a two-goal win as Sporting could not make their final-second chance count and suffered their third loss in this season at home in the competition.
“Portuguese handball is growing and rising and it's nice to see,” said relieved Veszprém player Kentin Mahe, while Sporting coach Hugo Canela was also proud to promote Portuguese handball. “We dignified Portuguese handball and the name of Sporting Clube de Portugal,” said Canela. “We're going to do the best we can to keep dreaming (of a quarter-final spot).”
The two sides will meet again in Hungary next Saturday in the second leg.