EHF Velux Champions League: After last round all participants into knockout phase are known
With today’s game group phase of EHF Velux Champions League is over and we know all 16 participants for the knockout phase.
From Group A before the last round we already know three teams, first THW Kiel, second Paris Saint-Germain and third HC Prvo Plinarsko Drustvo Zagreb. For the last place we saw battle between HC Meshkov Brest and Naturhouse La Rioja. The fourth team has been decided in Thursday game when THW Kiel beat Meshkov Brest, with this loss game between Naturhouse La Rioja and Paris Saint-Germain didn’t matter since Naturhouse was already one point above Meshkov.
Group B was similar to Group A, only thing is that we know all participants a lot earlier, since last two team Swedish Alingsas HK and Turkish Besiktas were left only on two points. So except first Barcelona, the next three teams battle for the prestige. KIF Kolding Kobenhavn has a big problem against Alingsas HK but at the end they manage to take the victory and second place. For third place we saw battle between Orlen Wisla Plock and SG Flensburg-Handewitt. Wisla surprise German powerhouse and beat them 31-29, thus taking the third place in front of them. Best in Wisla ranks was Serbian player Ivan Nikcevic who scored 7 goals, for guests best scorer was another Serbian player Drasko Nenadic with 6 goals.
In Group C we already know all participants before the last round. MKB-MVM Veszprem was first and Montpellier was fourth. So the only question was who will be second and third and for that answer Rhein-Neckar Lowen and HC Vardar went head to head. Similar to Group B where Wisla Plock surprise Flensburg-Handewitt, here Vardar surprise Rhein-Neckar Lowen and beat them 28-35. Croatian player Igor Karacic was Vardar best scorer with 8 goals while Switzerland player André Schmid was best scorer for Rhein-Neckar Lowen with 6 goals. At the end Vardar is going from second place and Rhein-Neckar from third.
In Group D we got only undefeated team in group phase KS Vive Tauron Kielce and Pick Szeged as the teams that already qualify for knockout round. For the last two spot we got battle between Dunkerque, Aalborg, Motor Zaporozhe and Kadetten Schaffhausen. On Wednesday HC Motor Zaporozhe lost against KS Vive Tauron Kielce 27-28 and they have to wait until the last game to see if they will go into the next round. On Sunday in head-to-head game Dunkerque was better than Kadetten Schaffhausen 29-25 and get them into knockout stage. Julian Emonet and Pierre Soundry was the best scorer for Dunkerque with 5 goals each, for Kadetten Andrija Pendic was the best with 8 goals. In last game on Sunday and the game that would give us last participant Aalborg manage to get a draw against Pick Szeged and go into the knockout phase.
All participant are:
Group A: THW Kiel, Paris Saint-Germain, HC Prvo Plinarsko Drustvo Zagreb and Naturhouse La Rioja
Group B: FC Barcelona, KIF Kolding Kobenhavn, Orlen Wisla Plock and SG Flensburg-Handewitt
Group C: MKB-MVM Veszprem, HC Vardar, Rhein-Neckar Lowen and Montpellier
Group D: KS Vive Tauron Kielce, MOL-Pick Szeged, Dunkerque and Aalborg
From the 16 participants three clubs are coming from France and Germany, two are coming from Hungary, Poland, Denmark and Spain and we got one club from Croatia and Macedonia. And one small info that FC Barcelona player Kiril Lazarov is the best scorer so far in EHF Velux Champions League with 76 goals.