Both SEHA - Gazprom League teams are still part of the EHF top competition, had a victorious start in their knockout stages, both in away matches. Telekom Veszprem took a never expected clear 36:23 at their Hungarian rivals Pick Szeged in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League, while Nexe won their European League Last 16 match at Motor Zaporozhye 27:23 - both re-matches will be played next week already.
Maschineseeker EHF Champions League
What a statement of Telekom Vezsprem in the All-Hungarian play-off against Pick Szeged: The final score of 36:23 after a 21:7 at half-time was Szeged’s biggest home defeat in their Champions League history. Now, Veszprem can already plan for their 21st Champions League quarter-final in history, in which they would face Industria Kielce.
Veszprem’s defence and goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales, who saved 46 per cent of all Szeged shots in the first half, were simply brilliant. Szeged needed 11 minutes to score their first goal, but Veszprem’s hunger was not stilled, even when the deal was sealed at the break. Gasper Marguc scored 11 times, and the biggest gap after the break were 15 goals. Besides, it was a perfect international debut for Nedim Remili, who had arrived from Kielce in February. Like Rasmus Lauge and Patrick Ligetvari, the Frenchman scored four goals for Veszprem.
Head coach Momir Ilic was fully impressed by the performance of his side: „This match was the best I have ever seen since I am at the club, either as a coach or as a player. We were strong as a team. I didn’t expect such a great performance, but maybe no-one did.”
The remaining results of leg 1 of the play-offs:
Dinamo Bucuresti - THW Kiel 28:41
Orlen Wisla Plock - HBC Nantes 28:28
Aalborg Handbold - GOG Gudme 30:28
EHF European League
Nexe have gained a perfect base for making it to their second straight quarter-finals of the EHF European League. After finishing on top of group C, they did not give any chance to Motor on their home ground in Dusseldorf, Germany. Right from the start, the team of head coach Branko Tamse had full control of the match and were ahead by a five-goal margin (13:8) at the break. Mainly the defence and goalkeeper Dominik Kuzmanovic (10 saves) were the keys for the victory.
Nexe managed to keep the European League top scorer Ihor Turchenko at only five goals in 60 minutes, the biggest advance were seven goals, at the end, it had melted to four. Predrag Vejin (7) and the duo Alexandar Bakic and Fran Mileta (each 5) were Nexe’s top scorers. “We did not expect the match to be this hard, to be honest. Everything is still pretty much open, and we’ll know everything after the second leg”, said Vejin. If Nexe proceed, they face the winners of the duel Göppingen (GER) vs Valur (ISL).
The remaining results of leg 1 of the Last16:
Valur Rejkjavik – Frisch Auf Göppingen 29:36
Skjern – Füchse Berlin 23:28
Benfica – SG Flensburg-Handewitt 26:39
Bidasoa Irun– Sporting CP 30:27
FTC Budapest – Montpellier Handball 30:36
Kadetten Schaffhausen– Ystads IF 38:32
Fraikin Granollers – Skanderborg-Aarhus 32:34