We are the fourth team in Europe!
02.06.2019, 19:12

We are the fourth team in Europe!

In the third place match of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 the PGE VIVE Kielce team lost to Barça Lassa 35:40. The game was full of twists of action, but unfortunately it was the Catalans who turned out to be better. A fantastic performance was given by Arkadiusz Moryto, who scored a total of ten goals, including eight from penalty throws. Out of four appearances in the Champions League finals, we have a victory (2016), two bronze medals (2013, 2015) and a fourth place (2019).

Barca Lassa – PGE VIVE Kielce 40:35 (20:16)

Barca Lassa: Perez de Vargas, Moller – Tomas, Entrerrios, Sorhaindo, Andersson, Arino, N’guessan, Gomez, Goncalves Dos S, Dolenec, Mem, Brito, Ilic, Palmarsson, Fabregas

PGE VIVE Kielce: Cupara, Ivić, Wałach – Bis, A. Dujshebaev, Aginagalde, Jachlewski, Janc, Lijewski, Jurkiewicz, Kulesh, Moryto, Mamić, Cindrić, Fernandez, Karalok

High tempo, a lot of goals and plenty of goalkeeping interventions - this is how the first minutes of the third place match of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2019 looked like. It started with a score by Dika Mem and then a beautiful third-time penalty throw by Alex Dujshebaev and a wild counterattack by Marko Mamić. It was good. Unfortunately not for long. Another attempt by Alex from the 7m line was prevented by Gonzalo Perez de Vargas and from that moment on the goalkeeper had a very good period in the game.

On the other side of the court it took Vlad Cupara a little more time to get into his trance, until in the twelfth minute he finally stopped Nemanja Ilić throwing from the 7m line and Cédric Sorhaindo from the 6m line. The stands started to chant CU-PA-RA and our goalkeeper was enjoying his saves together with the fans. His teammates Luka Cindrić and Angel Fernandez effectively made use of counterattacks, scoring two goals in a row. In the fourteenth minute we were losing 7:9.

Then the luck left us. The ball thrown by Luka Cindrić bounced off the post and then fell off the goal. Luka did not give up and just as yesterday, in a match against Veszprém, he was guiding his teammates and breaking through Barça's defensive wall. In a few other situations we lost the ball and the Catalans counterattacked at a very fast pace, gaining the advantage of 12:7.

Fate was probably playing roulette with both teams, because after a few minutes the luck was with the Kielce players again. Arkadiusz Moryto converted two subsequent penalty throws, and in the second attempt the ball danced on the fingers of Perez de Vargas and nonchalantly fell under his bar. In a moment Vladimir Cupara saved Barça's throw, made a through pass to Arciom Karalok across almost the entire court, then the Kielce players exchanged a few passes and, by some miracle, the ball somehow went through the wall of rivals' hands to Krzysztof Lijewski, who scored another one for PGE VIVE. Seven minutes before the end we were losing 12:15.

But Barça was on a roll. Xavi Pascual's men were scoring goals a lot easier than the Kielce players. The goal of Vlad Cupara was bombed mainly by Lasse Andersson and Aron Palmarsson. Luckily, Arkadiusz Moryto was still perfect in penalty throws, so the numbers were slowly improving for our team.  In the first half, Arek managed to convert five when for seven minutes the Kielce team was unable to finish any action with a goal. We ended the first half with a 16:20 loss.

The second part of the game started badly. After eight minutes, we were down 21:27. We were struggling in attack, and the defense didn't work at all, as Barça were scoring one goal after another. Alex Dujshebaev and Arciom Karalok were doing their best to add at least single goals. In the thirteenth minute, when Uladzislau Kulesh got a two-minute suspension, Julen Aginagalde, who due to a biceps injury suffered in the previous match was supposed to appear on the court only if it was really bad, took the position of playmaker. And it was bad.

Filip Ivić replaced Cupara in goal. And finally, the Catalans started making mistakes. They were losing one ball after another and Blaz Janc, Mateusz Jachlewski and Arciom Karalok took advantage of it in their counterattacks, while Ficio provided his support between the posts. We started chasing the result! Several minutes before the end we were losing only 29:31! The bench of the Kielce team was living the emotions of the match, each time jumping with joy.

However, just like yesterday, we were lacking decisive shots that would bring the game to a draw. We lacked accuracy and consistency that would allow us to balance the score. In these difficult, stressful moments Barça simply turned out to be more experienced, and it also seemed as if at least luck was on the side of the Catalan team. Eventually, after a huge surge and a great chase of the Kielce team which, however, did not allow us to catch up with Xavi Pascual's men, we lost the bronze medal game 35:40.