Porto frustrate Veszprém to hold out for a draw
FC Porto produced one of their best performances of the season in the EHF Champions League Men, taking a hard-fought 28:28 draw against Telekom Veszprém HC and improving their chances for a play-off spot.
- the Hungarian side failed to win for the first time in six home games this season, leaving Aalborg and Kielce as the only sides remaining with a perfect home record
- after Vladimir Cupara entered the goal late in the second half, Veszprém embarked on a 3:0 unanswered run to take the lead with eight minutes to go, 26:25, but eventually failed to protect their advantage
- backs Kentin Mahe and Petar Nenadic were Veszprém’s top scorers, with six goals each, including four of the last seven goals in the game for the Hungarian side
- this was Porto’s seventh draw in their history in 61 games in the EHF Champions League Men, having the largest percentage of draws in the competition out of all their games played — 11 per cent
- after three heavy defeats against Veszprém, Porto went unbeaten for the first time, as they moved up to level HC Motor in sixth place on the standings, with eight points
Clunky attack costs Veszprém
Back in the EHF Champions League Men after more than two months, Veszprém looked rusty in attack, failing to get anything going properly throughout the match. Their efficiency was down to 53 per cent and the Hungarian powerhouse scored less than their average of 31.6 goals per game across the first 10 matches.
There were flaws in their defence, which only stepped up in the final minutes, powered by three saves from goalkeeper Vladimir Cupara, who finished the match on a 43 per cent save efficiency.
But credit goes to Porto, who played one of their best games of the season and really could have clinched the win were it not for two misses from right wing Antonio Areia, who also failed to convert a penalty with three minutes to go.
If somebody told me we’re going to play draw in Veszprém, I would take it, but now I’m a little bit disappointed. Even though we could have lost the game too, we got lucky in the end.
I’m really happy with my team’s reaction. All in all we played well, even though the second half was a little bit more problematic. We made some really good attacks, we had our chances, but missed some.