In the first round of Group C in the Champions League Tatran Presov lost to Montpellier HB 23:28 in Palais des Sports René Bougnol, Montpellier. Slovakian champions kept up with home favourites during entire first half, which ended tied 14:14. In the second half Montpellier changed their defensive system to 6-0 and Tatranhad huge problems to score goals from the back court. Montpellier punished low shooting efficiency of Tatran in the second half by counter attacks that became the basis of five goal win of the home team.Tatran missed their captain and pillar of defence Radovan Pekar, left back of the Slovakian national team, who did not travel to Montpellier because of left hand injury.
The coach of Tatran Presov Rastislav Trtik appreciated team performance of his players on the court of strong French rivals: “We played as a team very well, mainly in the first half, even though we had to face unfavourable decisions and had many players on the penalty bench. Montpellier fully used their home environment. However, they did not deliver convincing performance and despite a five-goal win they did not confirm the role of Group C favourites. Except for the beginning of the second half we did not allow Montpellier to score more goals in a row. In the final part of the match we managed to use certain statistical compensations and we were more active side. Considering health problems and absences of our players, demanding schedule of 9 games played within 18 days, including 3600 km long journey by bus to Montpellier and back home, our team performance was at a very good level. In our home game against Montpellier we will have some possibilities and chances that can lead to our victory, but we will need the support of our great fans and good health state of our players.”
Left back of Tatran Presov and Slovakian national team Dominik Krok speaks about the game of two different halves: “In the first half we were equal rivals to Montpellier. Both teams changed each other in lead. Our defensive system worked well. We also played good handball in attack. In the second half we did not manage to score from the back court. That is why we lost the game by five goals. I am convinced we do not have to be ashamed of our performance we delivered in the first game of Group C in the Champions League. It is a pity we had low efficiency in the second half. We could have reached better result. We have to go further and prepare for the next encounter. I would like to congratulate Montpellier on their victory.”
Centre back of the Slovakian champions and Slovakian national team Lukas Urban only confirms the statements of his teammate: “In the first half we were disciplined on the court. We kept the tactics our coachprepared for the game and we were successful. However, we did not manage the beginning of the second half that decided about home team victory.Nevertheless we delivered very good performance. Now we have to travel home and quickly prepare for SEHA League game against Meshkov Brest on Tuesday.”
Right wing of Tatran Presov and Czech national team Tomas Cip was not satisfied with the beginning of the second half at all: “In the first half it was a tied game. We had five two-minute penalties, but we managed it well.However, we did not manage the opening phase of the second half. Unfortunately we missed several opportunities. Finally we lost by five goals.It is a pity, it could have been better. Now we have to prepare thoroughly for SEHA League game against Meshkov Brest at home.”
The Slovakian side could rely again on quality performance of Ukrainian national team goalkeeper Igor Chupryna who also regretted the second half in Montpellier: “It was a very tough game. In the first half we played a good match.In the second half we did not manage to keep up with home team. We were not efficient enough and Montpellier used that to secure a comfortable win. We have to play a lot of games in a row. We need to concentrate on next matches. We believe we will deliver the best possible performances.”
After the first round of the group phase of the ChampionsLeagueTatranPresov are the bottom of Group C without points. In the second round Slovakian champions host Macedonian vice champions HC Metalurg Skopje. The game is scheduled for Saturday 1 October 2016 at 15:00 CET in Tatran Handball Arena, Presov, Slovakia.
Champions League 2016/2017 – Group C – 1st Round
Montpellier HB (FRA) – TATRAN Presov (SVK) 28:23 (14:14)
MHB: Gerard, Portner – Anquetil, Causse 4, Truchanovicius 1, Toumi, Grebille 4, Dolenec 1, Guigou, Zvizej 3, Kavticnik 7, Bonnefond, Faustin 2, Porte, Bingo 6. Coach: P. Canayer.
TATRAN: Chupryna, Brazhnyk – Rabek 6, M. Sarpataky, Hrstka 2, D. Krok 3, Sadovyi, L. Urban 3, Cip 3, Peskov 2, Vucko 1, Jankovic 2, Pales 1, Tsarapkin. Coach: R. Trtik.
Referees: Bonifert, Olah (HUN), 7m given/goals: 5/4 – 1/1, 2´ penalties: 4 – 5, Spect. 3000.