Chekhovskie earn valuable win against Toulouse
Chekhovskie medvedi were on fire before travelling to France to face Fenix Toulouse Handball in group A of the EHF European League Men.
Since the restart last month, the Russian side had won three of their four games, while Toulouse had not played a game in the competition in 2021, and Chekhovskie medvedi put their recent experience to good use on Wednesday evening as they overcame the French side 32:29.
Fenix Toulouse Handball (FRA) vs Chekhovskie medvedi (RUS) 29:32 (14:16)
- neither of the two teams really had the upper hand in the opening minutes, but on many occasions, Chekhov led by two in the last 10 minutes of the half
- thanks to Sergei Kosorotov and Dmitryi Kiselev, who scored a combined 11 goals before the break, the Russian side went back to the dressing room leading by two (16:14)
- in the second half, Chekhov allowed Toulouse to come back within one with three minutes left to play, but Nemanja Ilic turned the ball over when the French side had the opportunity to equalise
- Nemanja Ilic netted 10 times for Toulouse, while Sergei Kosorotov scored nine from nine shots
- Chekhov remain third in the group, with 10 points, taking a huge step towards qualification, while Toulouse are fifth with four points before they play against rivals Fivers next week
Chekhov's slow rhythm suits them perfectly
As Chekhovskie medvedi did everything to slow things down, fast-paced handball fans will probably not have been pleased by what they saw on the court today.
But the use of many passes, up to the point where the referees would threaten to blow for passive play, suited the Russian side perfectly. Aleksandr Kotov proved to be an expert at this game, and the left back was key for his team’s success.
"It’s the first time (season) that we play in the EHF European League and the experience of Chekhov made the difference in the money time. We should have waited a little bit in defence to score goals," said Fenix Toulouse head coach Philippe Gardent.
"Your coach was good, we played against each other when we were young as players and now today as coaches. We have a good team, both teams were able to win. Luckily, it was on our side," said Chekhovskie medvedi coach Vitaly Ivanov.