According to European Handball Federation (EHF), FC Barcelona and MKB-MVM Veszprém took their eighth victory in the ninth group match of the VELUX EHF Champions League in emphatic style: The Catalans secured the victory in Group C by an unexpectedly clear 38:28 win against PSG, while the Hungarian side beat Zagreb easily to finish on top.
MKB-MVM Veszprem (HUN) vs. HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (CRO) 34:27 (19:11)
(Reverse fixture: 33:22)
A draw would have been enough, but one knows MKB-MVM Veszprém, they would never be satisfied to dish-up their fans a draw. Zagreb – which should have been backed by the crucial win over Zaporozhye one week ago – were on eye level only in the first ten minutes, then the strong Veszprém defence, including Croatian goalkeeper Mirko Alilovic, took matters into their own hands. In minute 24 the gap was eight goals for the first time – and remained the same until the end of the first half.
When the Hungarian side lacked concentration due to the clear lead, the Croats came closer to 18:23. But despite their fighting spirit and moral they could not endanger the Veszprem victory, as their coach Carlos Ortega pulled the “emergency break” at 25:20 with a time-out to wake his players up again. It took only nine more minutes, before his team was back on track, leading 33:24 to decide the match and secure the group victory.
Zagreb’s hopes fully focus on their last group match next weekend against St. Petersburg. They do not have their fate in their hands – but have to cross their fingers for the Hungarian side to beat Zaporozhye.
Top scorers were Momir Ilic by eight goals for Veszprém and Zlatko Horvat by five strikes for Zagreb.
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