Montpellier beats Basel 37-31 and turns out to be one of the four best teams in the male competition
The 9th European Universities Handball Championship gets to the most exciting phase. Teams compete in a single match risking being knocked out and not make it to the podium. The semifinals are already defined—Duisburg-Essen vs. Frankfurt and Montpellier vs. Stefan Cel. The University of Malaga, the host team, is eliminated from the Championship’s best teams list in an unfortunate match against the Romanian team of Stefan Cel. The Spanish team never led the way and always had the scoreboard against them.
The quarter-finals results are easy to read—both German teams are difficult to beat and will have a representation at the tournament’s great final. Duisburg-Essen completed a majestic game. The team passed the test against Rzeszow with the confidence of having done a great job in the groups phase and knowing exactly what to do at the right time. The Polish team started on the right foot, but went downhill as minutes went by, which translated in a final result of 34-23.
The other German team, Frankfurt, showed its high reliability against a Barcelona team that lost their focus in the competition (24-33). Ferrán Cisneros, a great 7-meter thrower, pushed his teammates to believe in the come back, but the feat proved to be unattainable in the view of Philipp Botzenhardt (13 goals).
Montpellier will be the opponent of the University of Malaga in one of the semifinals. Initially, Basel dominated the game, but after the half time the French increased their attacks and started to turn the scoreboard around. The Swiss team suffered the lack of players in the bench and they missed the starting goalkeeper, Pascal Ebener, due to his expulsion. Despite the disadvantage on the scoreboard, the Swiss representative scored some beautiful goals and prevented the intensity to go down in the last minutes (37-31). Thomas Gomez scored 10 goals.
Both matches that define the different final positions in the tournament ended up with the following results: Minho 33-29 Marmara and Split 29-23 Oporto.