Thursday, 22 August 2013

Euroleague Playoffs Bundesliga Clubs 22 August 2013

The first leg of the Euroleague playoffs ended with mixed results for the two Bundesliga sides.  Eintracht Frankfurt, despite a bad start into the Bundesliga, defeated Quarabag 2-0 and has a two away goal advantage for the second leg next week.  VFB Stuttgart which played in Rijeka, Croatia was defeated 2-1, but has a critical away goal for the return match in Stuttgart.

Quarabag vs Eintracht Frankfurt  0-2

Frankfurt won deservedly in their quest for the Euroleague Group stage.  Frankfurt stood solid defensively and the offense developed several good scoring opportunities.  Alexander Meier score twice, the first in the 6th minute and one in the second half in the 75th minute.

Meier's goal in the first half came in the sixth minute after Stefano Celizzo stormed up the right wing and put a superb pass into the center, where Alexander Meier picked it up with a one time shot just below the crossbar.  Miro Varvodic, Quarabag's keeper had no chance.  It was a picture perfect goal and gave the Eagles the 1-0 halftime lead.

The second half saw Frankfurt perform with the same vigour, again solid in the defence and agressvie in the offense.  Alexander Meier got his double pack with his second goal of the night. 

Alexander Meier secured Frankfurt's lead in the 75th minute after he took a pass from the right flank, and moved the ball past defender Maksim Medvedev, netting the ball in the far corner.  This is how the contest ended and Frankfurt goes into the second leg with a two goal away advantage and one leg in the group phase.

Rijeka vs VFB Stuttgart  1-2

VFB Stuttgart had difficulty managing a power Croatian team, but managed to get the important away goal, despite a 2-1 defeat.  The goal leaves the opportunity open for a good result in the home match next week. Rijeka opened the scoring in the 74th minute with Benko's goal.  Kvrzic doubled the score in the 87th minute, but Ibesevic got one back in the 89th minute for Stuttgart.

Stuttgarts performance in the first half was lacking, while Rijeka challenged Stuttgart's defence.  The Schwaben managed to salvage a scoreless draw at the end of 45 minutes.

The second half was not much better for Stuttgart and Benko gave the lead to the Croats in the 74th minute, Ivan Tomecak, after moving around Minaro, delivered a perfect pass to the far post, which Benko easily transported into the far corner.  Stuttgart became a little more aggressive after the goal, but it was Kvrzic that found the net for the security goal in the 87th minute.

The goal came on a counterattack by Rijeka and Benko divided Stuttgart's defence, moves around Ulreich and put a perfect pass in front of the net.  Zoran Dvrzic left two defenders in the dust and sends the ball home for the 2-0 Rijeka lead. 

With a little luck, Stuttgart managed to narrow the score in the 89th minute with Ibesivec's goal.  The goal came on a pass from Gentner on the left flank.  Abellaoue near the left post was in a offside position, but was unable to get to the ball, before Ibesivic beat him to it and transported the ball into the net. 

Stuttgart's goal is important for the return match and makes Stuttgart's lot a little easier, since the Schwaben only need to win by one goal.  VFB Stuttgart will have to ramp up the temp if they are to make the group stage.

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