Besiktas earn tough win and Sporting hold on against Medvedi
While Besiktas won comfortably (30:22) in their first match against Macedonian side Metalurg in Skopje earlier this season, the Turkish side looked in serious trouble in their re-match today, but their superior experience helped them earn a second win this season against the team from FYR Macedonia.
For Sporting CP, fighting for top spot in the VELUX EHF Champions League Group C, a home victory against Chekhovskie Medvedi was a must.
Nothing was certain for the Lisbon-based team until the last minute, but in the end Sporting claimed a 33:31 win.
- Ramazan Döne scored nine times for Besiktas
- The Turkish side earned their third win of the season
- Sporting top the group jointly with Bjerringbro
- Medvedi suffered their third straight defeat
There was little that Besiktas Mogaz or HC Metalurg could do to progress to the next phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League with both unable to move forward in the competition, yet the two teams at the bottom of group C provided an entertaining match, with Metalurg taking an early 4:3 lead after 10 minutes.
Yet a 3:0 run from the hosts soon after, inspired by veteran Ramazan Döne, helped Besiktas take back the lead and it was a cat-and-mouse game between the two sides, as seven goals from the same Döne could not break the deadlock, making it 12:12 at half-time.
Previously winless in away games, Metalurg, the youngest team in the competition, continued to press and were even leading, 20:19, with 13 minutes to go, thanks to a 60% shot efficiency, but a more experienced Turkish side had enough in their tank to earn the win, 23:22, after veteran Nemanja Pribak scored his only goal of the game with one minute to spare, gifting Besiktas their third win of the season.
Sporting SP (POR) vs Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) 33:31 (14:12)
For some reason, Sporting have been struggling on home court during the current season. In Group C, they had lost two of their three previous home matches – against Bjerringbro and Presov – and the start of their match with Medvedi was not promising either.
At least it looked like that by the 18th minute, when the Russian champions pulled clear at 10:6. However, Sporting should be credited for turning the tide already in the first half.
Matevz Skok made a few impressive saves, and overall Sporting’s defence greatly improved. Medvedi scored just two goals in the next 12 minutes, and Sporting took a 14:12 lead at the break.
Led by Dmitrii Santalov, the visitors desperately tried to catch up during most of the second half and managed to do it several times.
At 30:30 two and a half minutes from the buzzer, the match was still open, but then Luis Frade and Edmilson Araujo scored two quick goals, and later Carlos Ruesga added one more before Medvedi netted in the last second to make it 33:31.
Medvedi coach Vladimir Maksimov said the match taught his team some important lessons.
"Our young players thought that the game was already won. When we play against a team like Sporting we should not do that. Sporting turned the result around and our nerves made us lose four balls and give fast breaks to the lions," he said.Author: Adrian Costeiu & Sergey Nikolaev/amc & jh