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Back to the Champions League for the FC Barcelona handball team and an important 25-28 win away at a tough place to go in Orlen Wisla Plock, concluding the first half of the season in first place in group B with 12 points. Dika Mem top scored for the blaugranas with 7 goals against a dogged home side.
Aleix Gómez and a good blaugrana defence set the tone for the half from the off. Despite a difficult spell mid-half, there was still a 4-6 lead over Plock after 15 minutes and Nielsen's eight saves in the half helped Carlos Ortega's side go in 11-15 at the break, with the goals spread around the team.
Despite a suspension, captain Dika Mem showed up in an attack to take the score to 15-21 after 40 minutes. Plock scored three without reply to close the gap to 18-21 five minutes later, but Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas scored a goal (20-24, min 50) and made two saves (22-26, min 57) to virtually ensure the win. Wisla Plock rallied to come within two, but a final goal by Aleix Gómez closed out a 25-28 victory.
Next up in Europe none other than today's opponents Wisla Plock, this time at the Palau Blaugrana on 23 November (20.45 horas).
ORLEN WISLA PLOCK, 25
Wisla Plock: Mirko Alilovic, Tin Lucin (8), Dawid Dawydzik (5), Mirsad Terzic, Gergö Fazekas (1), Gonzalo Pérez Arce, Lovro Mihic (3) - starting seven -, Niko Mindegia (1), Kiryl Samoila (1), Dmitry Zhitnikov, Michal Daszek (5), Tomas Piroch, Przemyslaw Krajewski (1).
Barça: Nielsen, Aleix (3), D. Mem (7), Frade (3), Pol Valera (3), N'Guessan (3), Wanne (3) - starting seven - Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas (sg, 1), Petar Cikusa (2), Carlsbogard (2), Richardson (1), Javi Rodríguez (1), Jaime Gallego, Aitor Ariño, Thiagus Petrus, Blaz Janc.
Partial scores: 0-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-11, 9-13, 11-15 -halftime- 12-16, 15-20, 18-21, 20-24, 22-26, 25-28 (fulltime).
Referees: Maike Merz, Tanja Kuttler.