Spandau upset FTC as Shepelev hit four from action

Day 5, Group B: Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 11-10

It was a tremendous fight from the beginning till the end and Spandau claimed a stunning win to make the standings even more balanced.

Though FTC took the lead in its first possession, Spandau replied with three connecting goals to send a strong sign that last season’s bronze medallist could expect anything but an easy ride. The Magyars then levelled the score in 55 seconds but Luca Marziali’s action goal set Spandau’s lead back by the end of the first.

The visitors’ problems started to get more and more visible early in the second when they missed back-to-back man-ups – lacking the services of Euro Champs MVP Szilard Jansik and Italian leftie Luca Damonte, both being ill, left its mark on their offensive plays. Still, at this stage their defence worked, young goalie Daniel Szakonyi came up with a big save in a 6 on 4, and soon the Hungarians took the lead as they hit two in 31 seconds. When they killed another man-down, one may have felt they were gaining control – instead, Spandau managed to halt their seven-minute silence. First, Dmitrii Kholod’s ball sneaked in under the goalie’s hand and Marek Tkac put away an extra 50 seconds later, so the Germans led once more at the end of the period.

In the third Ferencvaros seemed to get into trouble as Zoran Bozic hit one from the wing and even though Stylianos Argyropulos netted a man-up, soon Roman Shepelev scored a spectacular action goal for 8-6. Nemanja Ubovic pulled one back, but FTC missed their next extra, then Spandau could earn a penalty in a dying (if not dead) man-up to make it 9-7. And after the Hungarians wasted another 6 on 5 – their 2m plays barely worked –, Spandau had a man-up to go up by three. They couldn’t make it and Gergo Fekete brought FTC back to life from the ensuing counter.

The fourth began with a fast exchange of goals (Shepelev scored with some luck, Fekete replied from a man-up), then, at 10-9, both sides had chances to either double the lead or making it equal. Spandau missed two man-ups, while Argyropoulos could finally convert a 6 on 5 for 11-11 after six minutes of hard battling, with 1:19 remaining. The Greek scored the winners in the previous rounds – this time his last hit didn’t even earn a point for his side as Spandau had the last laugh. Rather the last two laughs – first, when Shepelev scored his fourth from the perimeter (a small deflection helped him), then, when their goalie Laszlo Baksa came up with the big saved on the last two shots coming from the centre. This is how a Hungarian secured the Germans’ win over the Hungarian champion.