In the 10th round of Group C in the Champions League TATRAN Presov beat Spanish vice champions Naturhouse La Rioja 30:27 in TATRAN Handball Arena, Presov, Slovakia.
After the 10th round of the group phase of the Champions League TATRAN Presov are the 3rd in the incomplete table of Group C with 9 points for 4 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses. The final standing of the Slovakian champions will be decided on Sunday 12 February after two last group games. French winners of Group C Montpellier HB host Norwegian Elverum Handball and Macedonian Metalurg Skopje play Russian Chekhovskie Medvedi.
Rastislav Trtik, coach of TATRAN:
“I would like to congratulate La Rioja on qualifying into the next stages of the Champions League. We knew they were professionals and sportsmen, so they would not give us anything in the game. Both teams delivered excellent performances and it was really good and exciting match for the spectators. The coach of La Rioja did not say they missed Garabaya and Fernandez Perez. They did not give us a single ball for free. That is why I appreciate this victory even more. We used the abilities of fast Dominik Krok who eliminated the playmaker Victor Vigo in defence and we managed to score important goals on counter attacks.”
Dominik Krok, left back of TATRAN:
“It was a very attractive game for the fans in TATRAN Handball Arena. We played very well especially in defence. Everyone of us wanted to give his best performance. We fought hard until the end of the match. The first half finished with the same result as it was in La Rioja earlier this season. We said to each other we could not lose our lead. We wanted to extend it in the second half. We managed it because we played a lot of fast breaks and were able to convert our chances into easy goals. We wanted to give winning farewell to our fans with the Champions League. Congratulations to La Rioja on their qualifying into the next phase of the Champions League.”
Oliver Rabek, left back of TATRAN:
“It was a very tough game. We put a lot of effort into the match. It was demanding to keep up with such rivals as La Rioja were. I am glad we managed to win this encounter. This season we gave our maximum in the Champions League, even though there were some mistakes. It was a big pity we lost to Elverum at home. If we had beaten them, we would have played for the qualifying place. Tomorrow we will know our final position in Group C and learn how we are seeded in the Champions Laegue draw next season. This season we gained a lot of new experience. It is a big prestige for TATRAN Presov and entire Slovakian handball to play in the best competition in the world.”
Jakub Hrstka, left wing of TATRAN:
“We needed to win this game, which we managed to do. We wanted to delight our fans and give a winning farewell to the Champions League. The basis of our success in the encounter was the fact we played as a team in defence and attack. We played with good concentration for 60 minutes. We succeeded in fast breaks. This was the most decisive factor, which decided on our victory. I would like to thank to the fantastic spectators who supported us during the entire game, even though we were down. If someone told us before the start of the Champions League season we would gain 9 points, we would take them. Although we are happy we have 9 points, we have to regret our home loss to Elverum and another lost point in Norway. It could even have been better. Despite that we can be satisfied.”
Jesus Javier Gonzales Fernandez, coach of Naturhouse:
“After our loss in the game we will remain the second in the table of Group C. Today we could see really good performance by TATRAN Presov. They had very good defence and attack. Our team made too many big mistakes in the match. At the moments we played well, we were not able to take this advantage. When our goalkeepers saved the shots, all rebounds went for TATRAN. Congratulations to TATRAN Presov on their excellent performance and deserved victory.”
Inaki Pecina Tome, line player of Naturhouse:
“Congratulations to TATRAN Presov on their win. They were better team for the bigger part of the game. They punished our mistakes in the attack on their fast breaks. We wanted to equalize the score but it was impossible for us today, because our defence was not as good as defence of TATRAN.”
Champions League 2016/2017 – Group C – 10th Round – 11 February 2017
TATRAN Presov (SVK) – Naturhouse La Rioja (ESP) 30:27 (18:16)
TATRAN: Chupryna 1, Brazhnyk – Rabek 9, M. Sarpataky, Hrstka 2, D. Krok 6, Sadovyi, L. Sarpataky, L. Urban 2, Pekar, Cip 2, Peskov, Vucko 4, Jankovic 4, Pales, Tsarapkin. Coach: R. Trtik.
Naturhouse: Kappelin, Aguinagalde Aquizu – Jimenez Reina 3, Inoue Langaro 1, Molina Cosano 2, Munoz Cabezon 5, Rocas Comas, Vigo Gerpe 2, Sanchez Migallon 5, Garciandia Alustiza 2, Hisham Sanad 1, Montoro Cabello 1, Pecina Tome 1, Garcia Rubio 4. Coach: J. J. Gonzales Fernandez.
Referees: Nabokau, Kulik (BLR), 7m given/goals: 2/2 – 1/1, 2´ penalties: 2 – 3, Spect. 2500
- Montpellier HB 9 7 0 2 271:228 14
- Naturhouse La Rioja 10 5 1 4 294:286 11
- TATRAN Presov 10 4 1 5 259:271 9
- Elverum Handball 9 3 2 4 233:243 8
- HC Metalurg Skopje 9 4 0 5 209:227 8
- Chekhovskie Medvedi 9 2 2 5 249:260 6
Author: Richard Fech
Photo: TATRAN Presov