Porto and Landin impress among the best of Round 1

The first round of the EHF Cup Group Phase is behind us and there were plenty of memorable moments.

Here is a collection of the very best from the opening weekend of action.

Top game
Tatabanya vs Nexe 27:28

Tatabanya and Nexe were the first clubs to play in this season’s EHF Cup Group Phase, and their encounter on Friday was truly something to witness. The hosts lead by as much as six in the first half but were unable to hold on to the two points.

Despite being down by two just three minutes from the end, Nexe never stopped pushing and managed to finally snatch the win, thanks to a last-gasp goal by Patrik Leban. Some might think that a draw might have been a fair outcome, but either way it was a brilliant start to the weekend.

Top player
Niklas Landin

It took 15 minutes for the newly-crowned world champion to find his feet for Kiel against Granollers. Much like the rest of his teammates, he set his alarm clock a little bit late, but once he got going, there was no getting past him in goal.

Landin conceded just 13 goals in the last 45 minutes of the game, while delivering a couple of spectacular assists, including this one for Rune Dahmke.

Top team
FC Porto Sofarma

The Portuguese side were not messing around in their first outing of 2019 against Cuenca as they reproduced the form which saw them knock out last year’s semi-finalists SC Magdeburg in the Qualification Round 3.

An impressive offensive display from Porto led to 37 goals, including seven for last summer’s recruit Fabio Magalhaes.

At half-time Cuenca were already down by eight, 20:12, and it did not get better as Porto cruised to an 11-goal win with the best offensive performance of Round 1.

Top quote

“I´m proud of my guys, because they made a good game and I hope this gives us power for the next games. I hope this defeat will be the start of a winning-run,” said Saint-Raphaël coach Joël Da Silva.

Despite a four-goal loss to defending champions Füchse Berlin in their first outing of the group phase, Saint-Raphaël feel every cloud there is a silver lining and the experience in will serve them well this Saturday against La Rioja.

Top action

Nexe’s match-winner was a combination of two factors. Firstly, a brilliant save by goalkeeper Moreno Car, deflecting a shot which could have given the points to Tatabanya,  then with seconds left on the clock, Patrik Leban scores his first goal of the evening and celebrates snatching two away points.

TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor