THE BALL – Sporting returns to winning ways in the European League (Handball)

In a match in which he didn’t even start at all well, but in which he started to have greater control of the score after the break (17-17), after the defeats against Granollers (32-29) and Nexe (32-31), the Sporting returned to winning ways in the European League by defeating, at the João Rocha Pavilion, the Hungarians Balatonfuredi by 35-32, in a match for the 4th round of Group C.

Surprised by the speed with which the opponent entered and taking some time to structure the defense, at 5m the Lisboners lost by 1-4. Despite the efforts of Francisco Costa, he scored 5 of his 6 goals until the break (17-17), it took another 12 minutes for the first equality to be verified (10-10).

Two goals from Francisco and the same number from Martim Costa (4) in a 4-0 (14-12) match brought the first lead for the Portuguese team. Afterwards, the search for winger Étienne Mocquais (4) and a notable improvement in defensive recovery, as well as closing the spaces at 6m against Manuel Gaspar, even provided the advantage of three goals on two occasions (16-13, 17-14 ). But not for long.

Some loss of the ball and poor finishing allowed Balatonfuredi, where Milan Gostovic (10, 6 in the 1st half) showed great finishing skills early on, to respond with a 0-3 sequence that took the match to the locker room tied ( 17-17), but now without Martin Costa on the field because he injured his hip when he was fouled while shooting. He wouldn’t go back in.

At the start of the 2nd half, the 4-0 split (21-17), with two goals from Joep Folques (2), recorded the biggest difference of the entire match and gave the idea that Ricardo Costa’s men were launched to a comfortable edge. However, László Gyorgy’s prompt technical break and Stevan Sretenovic’s 7-metre shots, who scored all 6 of his goals in the 2nd half, reduced the deficit to 1 and even brought the tie to 26- 26 with 13.20m to go, in another 7m free kick by Gostovic.

Ricardo Costa then asked for his time-out and the team, especially Salvador Salvador (7), who scored 4 of the last 9 goals for the home team, increased the effectiveness of goals and looked for a quick attack at the speed of Mamadou Cissokho ( 4), in the face of some opposing physical break, to guarantee the victory that means that Balatonfuredi still hasn’t won any game.