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04.10.2007 21:07

Romero leads Barça to second win in Europe (34-27)

Verónica Díez

Barça have won their second European encounter against Russian side Astrakhan, 34-27. Iker Romero scored 9 to lead the night’s scoring, but Astrakhan proved a difficult opponent, and it was anything but an easy win.

Barça got off to a winning start in European matches at the Palau Blaugrana, against an Astrakhan side that proved hard to break down, although Barça were never behind on the score sheet. The Russians perhaps lacked a sense of urgency and Barça made them pay for that and eventually built up a seven point lead (min 28 -33/26).

Powerful defending

qm3d3912.jpgBoth these sides know how to defend very well, but also struggled to get goals. That was especially true of the Russians, who were struggling against the 6-0 system employed by Cadenas, with Barça keeper Barrufet keeping anything that slipped through the tight defence at bay.

It was a slow start and Barça failed to impose their game in the first half, never going more than four ahead, which came after a 13th minute score from Noddesbo. Iker Romero was already making his presence felt with four goals in a half that ended 17-13 to the home side.

Evenly matched

qm3d4061.jpgThere was little change after the break. Astrakhan and Barça both held onto the pace and neither side was able to break into a convincing lead. Iker Romero opened the second half scoring to make it 18-13, and Barrufet stayed in goal for the whole game until the last six minutes, when Venio Losert got his chance.

Things were gradually slipping away from the Russians, and they started taking a more aggressive approach, which led to penalties and exclusions that could only be of benefit to Barça. Juanín García, Albert Rocas and Jesper Noddesbo all scored from excellent individual plays to settle the game at 34 a 27. Iker Romero, meanwhile, was proving too much for the Russian defence and his nine goals capped off a truly remarkable performance.
Romero leads Barça to second win in Europe (34-27)

FC Barcelona: Juanín García(6), Víctor Tomás(1), Rubén Garabaya(3), Jerome Fernández(3), David Barrufet, Iker Romero(9), Eric Gull- starting seven- Jesper Noddesbo(4), Demetrio Lozano(2), Venio Losert, Crístian Ugalde, Joan Cañellas, Jonas Larholm(2) and Albert Rocas(4).

Astrakhan: Dmitri Slatchev(6), Mikhail Izmailov, Alexei Kainarov(2), Danil Chernov(4), Anton Roubizob(2), Alexei Pshenichni, Alexander Gorbatikov(2)-starting seven- Roman Serikov, Yuri Orlov, Alexander Krioshin, Valerij Mjagkov, Sergei Predybailov(1), Igor Moskalenko(3) and Alexei Grigoriev(7). 

Result every 5 minuts : (4-2), (5-4), (10-7), (11-10), (14-12), (17-13), (21-16), (24-18), (27-22), (28-25), (30-26), (34-27)

Referees: Pavel and State

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