Reds were close to victory over the group leader, RN Lowen, in Luz, but it was the Germans who prevailed, in the last second, by 36-35
Benfica lost to the Germans from RN Lowen, 35-36, in a match on the 3rd round of the European League, this Tuesday night, at Pavilion no. 2 at Estádio da Luz. The reds recorded their second defeat at this stage of the competition, after the defeat against Nantes and the victory over IFK Kristianstad, maintaining 3rd position in the group, with two points, two behind the French, second, and four behind the Germans, the leaders.
Benfica’s coach, Jota González, had warned, before the match, that it was of “fundamental” importance for his team’s aspirations in the competition. A challenge to which his pupils responded effectively in the opening minutes, countering the favoritism – and the superiority that was seen early on to be indisputable – of the German opponent, who was physically and technically stronger.
The commitment to duels and competitive concentration, especially defensive actions – another requirement of the Spanish coach for success in the contest – allowed the Reds to remain close to the Germans on the scoreboard throughout the first half. In any case, it was almost always felt that the visitors from the north of Europe preferred to control the moments of the game at this stage and simply maintain an advantage – which, let’s face it, was never enlightening. Until the break, when the score reached 15-19.
This tune changed significantly after the resumption. The RN Lowen energized itself during the rest and upon the resumption of hostilities it revealed itself… truly hostile! Benfica had the opposite momentum and was unable to stop it, falling behind, reaching 15-23 after four consecutive goals from the Germans.
It was thought, then, in the Luz pavilion, that the outsiders would have started, irresistible, for victory, even so early in the complementary stage. And whoever suspected it was right. Benfica reacted, rebalanced, and started to recover with just over 20 minutes to go, with three unanswered goals.
Galvanized, the eagles did not ease off the accelerator and reached equality and, without holding back, the advantage, raising the emotion in the room to the highest levels. In the last five minutes, the match was played point by point, with marginal distances on the scoreboard, with absolute uncertainty about the winner.
And it was until the last second that this prevailed, and in a final unsuitable for those with heart failure, RN Lowen advanced to victory, with a goal at the sound of the horn.
ABC defeated in Braga by Skjern (25-32)
Still on European handball night, also in a European League game, ABC hosted the Danish side Skjern in Braga and were defeated 25-32, with 13-16 at half-time. After this result, the Minho team occupy third place in Group D, with two points, the same distance from second place, that Nordic team, and four behind leader Nexe.