Vardar demolish Zagreb at Match of the Week

The Macedonian power-house Vardar were superior at the initial leg of these last-16 first leg game, winning 27:18 away in front of a packed Arena Zagreb.

With the result, Vardar are just one step closer into the quarter finals series leaving Zagreb using a near-impossible mission before the return game next week at Skopje.

  • Vardar justified their standing as one of the favorites, seldom breaking sweat to move 1 step nearer into the final eight teams
  • Dainis Kristopans and Igor Karacic scored five targets each for Vardar, while David Mandic felt exactly the same to get Croatians
  • Vardar defensive method along with Milosavljev’s conserves were essential for its Macedonian winners

LAST 16, First-leg
MOTW: HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs HC Vardar (MKD) 18:27 (6:14)

Off side Vardar started strongly, grabbing hands of the regional rivalry within their hands from the beginning of the game as they were able to guarantee success from the initial 30 minutes.

PSG-bound Dainis Kristopans was unstoppable from the starting with three successive goals, while the home side had to wait seven minutes to get their primary goal, scored by David Mandic.

Besides this attacking hazard, the Macedonian side saw a solid performance from the first half by goalkeeper Dejan Milosavljev who had an amazing save rate of 62 percent at the initial 20 minutes, as his competitors could only set the ball behind his net 3 days.

The Brazilian giant Rogerio Ferreira Moraes dominated from the following moments and ended the first half with four aims – the same as Kristopans which meant that an eight-goal gap for the Macedonian side. The eight goals were much the total scored by Zagreb from the introductory span — only six, their smallest first-half score in 2013 which was no surprise after just 25 minutes their taken success speed was a woeful 17 percent. However, their first — and final — goal of this half was played with the young, recently-signed Slovenian Aleks Vlah — his first-ever strike at the level.

Nothing changed from the second half as Zagreb couldn’t find a solution for its terrific defensive system demonstrated by the Macedonian team.  An additional headache for its Croatian champions was due to a red card to get Josip Vekic beneath 10 minutes by the conclusion after a foul on Christian Dissinger.  

Mandic was the best scorer on the left side side with five aims but was not sufficient for its group headed by Branko Tamse who watched his side practically wave the flag of Last-16 defeat already with all the nine-goal reduction.  

“Things went wrong for all of us by the initial minute,” said Tamse after the game. &ldquoWe gave Milosavljev a opportunity to grab the right rhythm early with a couple easy saves while we on the reverse side we played completely contrary of everything I would love to see out of that group of this offensive side of this court. ”

David Mandic put it more bluntly: &ldquoWe scored only six goals from the primary and says everything. ”

“It was a big game for us, the one that we’ve been preparing for during the complete course of this summer season,” he explained. “The quarter finals is just one of the steps towards the goal we’ve set four ourselves as a team prior to the season. We’ve had enough time to get ready for the match against PPD Zagreb, and it is just a team we’re familiar with.

“We’re tough in defence and patient in strike and it was a real joy to playwith. ”

TEXT: Amina Idrizi/amc


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