GROUP A REVIEW: French success sees both Berlin and Saint Raphael uncatchable in first two spots
Saint Raphael take two points along with secure shirt two standing
The mission for French side Saint Raphael inside this match was simple — that a win would secure them a place from the first two teams of Group A, and in the next half, leading by five they looked comfortable, however, Berlin pushed them in the dying moments of their match to return within three.
The French side entered the match representing their aim to win and even take lead of their group with the ideal goal turnaround and only after three moments, these were two goals ahead, 3:1.
Their crime was going to be key to the match and the side from France scored 18 days in the first half alone, insisting on playing extremely fast on every ball. Although Berlin did their very best to fulfill their own opponents’ rhythm, they lacked some efficacy in defence, unable to avoid Hampus Jildenbäck and Adrien Dipanda, who scored a combined seven goals before the break. In half-time, Saint Raphael were goals beforehand, 18:15.
But the visitors did not give up on the match.
Coming back to the court with better solutions to safeguard their goal, these were soon in the match and the score was even after 38 minutes, when Mijajlo Marsenic scored his fourth goal (20:20). Mihai Popescu, the hosts’ goalkeeper, was elemental from the last part of the game. His saves let the home side to return a three-goal lead, increasing it to five in the 53rd minute, when Vadim Gayduchenko netted for the sixth time.
But the experience of Hans Lindberg helped Berlin to retain control of the match as the Danish winger scored his team’s three aims, reducing the difference to three aims at the final whistle.
TEXT: Kevin Domas/amc