February 18, 2019
stregspiller.com – MATCH OF THE WEEK REVIEW – In a dramatic game that had just about everything a handball fan could desire, Veszprém avenged their defeat to Vardar earlier in the Champions League season.
The Hungarian record champion now sits in second place in Group A after an impressive comeback, catching up five goals in less than eight minutes.
By Peter Bruun
HC Vardar vs Telekom Veszprém KC 27:29 (16:11)
Veszprém´s staged a fast and fantastic comeback, when they equalized Vardar´s five-goal lead after the break within less than eight minutes into the second half.
Vardar’s comeback “kids” – Borozan and Moraes – did not help much, as Vardar were unable to hold on to what looked like a decisive advantage.
The team of coach Davis appears to be back in Europe’s top, following a shaky period in the fall. Considering current form, they are once again a hot contender for the FINAL4 in Cologne.
What started out as an even match soon turned into a game dominated by Vardar, while Daini Kristopans proved that he can do much more than shoot and defend.
The tall Latvian delivered a number of spectacular assists to Stojanche Stoilov and Christian Dissinger, and was one of the key players who made sure that the home team was up by one goal, fifteen into the match.
Speaking of Dissinger – from the get-go the German left back was on fire, scoring five goals in just as many attempts.
However, from 8:8 onwards, Vardar began to pull away, as playmaker Stas Skube found his game after a so-so start.
Soon the scoreboard read 11:8 for Vardar and the roof of Jane Sandanski Arena almost came off, when Borozan entered the court, making it 12:8 only a few seconds later
An effective 5-1 defense formation and a stellar Dajen Milosavljev in goal, formed Vardar’s basis from where they built a six-goal lead (16:10) shortly before halftime.
What a change of events in the second half!
It took Veszprém less than eight minutes to catch up Vardar´s five-goal lead, while Stoilov left the pitch with an apparent elbow injury. Bazilian lineplayer, Moraes, came on for the first time and as Borozan before, he scored quickly, making it 17:13 for Vardar.
But, just like Borozan, Moraes did not make the difference as the game progressed. Another player did, but he wasn’t playing for the hosts.
Roland Mikler, who had replaced Sterbik in Veszprém’s goal at the start of the second half, showed up in brilliant form.
With Mikler’s help Veszprém came back into the game and when Borut Machovsek scored the equalizer (17:17) the match was about to take a different course.
Vardar got up by three again at 21:18, courtesy of two goals of the aforementioned Kristopans, but the home team could not shake off their opponents. Veszprém drew even at 22:22 and barely two minutes later the Hungarian handball powerhouse enjoyed their second lead ever since 4:3, when Manuel Strlek scored on the back-end of a fast break.
Vardar answered in a hurry and it was not until 12 seconds before the final buzzer that Laszlo Nagy sealed Veszprém’s victory.
It’s unlikely that Veszprém will be put to the test when Meshkov Brest visit Veszprém Arena on Saturday – although the team from Belarus will arrive with plenty of confidence after defeating Rhein-Neckar Löwen 27:24.
Vardar should be able to hold on to third place when they visit Kristianstad, on Saturday.