After losing to Füchse Berlin by only three goals in the first leg of the third round of the EHF Cup, on Saturday, it was obvious that the mission of the Dragons in Germany would be very difficult. Thursday's defeat, 33-25, confirmed their elimination from the competition on the last round before the group stage, but one can say that the blue and whites stood up against the current leader of the German league and clear candidate to winning the European competition.
FC Porto had nothing to lose, so Lars Walther initially chose to attack with seven elements (two pivots), dismissing the presence of Hugo Laurentino in front of goal, with the goalkeeper not having the company of his partner in that position, Alfredo Quintana, due to injury. The Dragons balanced the match until the middle of the first-half (17 minutes in they were losing 8-7), but, from that moment on, the foxes moved ahead of the scoreboard, reaching the 17-12 score that went to halftime.
The technical quality of Füchse, full of top international players like Lidberg, Vukovic, Nenadic, Drux and Kopljar, made the difference, not only in the attack, but also forcing the blue and whites to technical mistakes that later led to counterattacks. The start of the second-half was especially difficult for FC Porto, who conceded a 4-0 partial and was losing 21-13 on minute 37.
The Dragons would be defeated exactly by a difference of eight goals, but never gave up, with specialthanks to Hugo Laurentino, who made some excellent saves, stopping even a seven meters throw from Lindberg. In the final minutes, newcomer Carlos Oliveira went in for the goal, after recently represented the Portuguese team in the Under18 European Championship and usually playing in the B team.
FÜCHSE BERLIM-FC PORTO, 33-25
EHF Cup, Third round, 2nd leg
November 23, 2017
Referees: Dzmitry Nabokau and Siarhei Kulik (Belarus)
FÜCHSE BERLIM: Silvio Heinevetter and Petr Stochl (g.r.); Bjarki Elisson (2), Drago Vukovic (1), Paul Drux (3), Steffen Fäth (6), Marko Kopljar (3), Hans Lindberg, Kevin Struck, Jakov Gojun, Petar Nenadic, Erik Schmidt (3), Mattias Zachrisson (6), Frederik Simak (2) and Erik Gerntke (1)
Coach: Velimir Petkovic
FC PORTO: Hugo Laurentino and Carlos Oliveira (g.r.); António Areia (3), Ángel Hernández (3), Daymaro Salina (2), Victor Iturriza (1), Miguel Martins (5), Diogo Branquinho, Nikola Spelic (2), Yoel Cuni Morales ), José Carrillo (3), Aleksander Spende (1) and Miguel Alves
Coach: Lars Walther
At halftime: 17-12