First round of EHF Champions League’s quarterfinals is behind us. SEHA Gazprom League has 3 of its participants among best 8 in Europe with PPD Zagreb playing PSG and MVM Veszprem facing off against Vardar in SEHA semis of EHF CL.
SEHA champions are in the best position after the first leg and an important away victory in Skopje - 26:29. It was not easy for Hungarian champions to grab the victory and it was clear things were going to be that way looking back on their this season’s clashes in SEHA Gazprom League. Momir Ilić was out for a short time before the clash but did not even consider missing what will probably prove to be the key match of the season on tracks to EHF F4 in Cologne. He was once again leading his team with 9 goals, Palmarsson scored 7 and Ugalde 5. Karačić and Dujshebaev were on the other side able to keep up with guests just like in SEHA grand finale combining for 11 (6+5) and Dibirov added 6 but that was not enough to take the W. Second leg is scheduled for next Saturday.
Things did not quite go as planned for PPD Zagreb which was experiencing serious roster problems after injuries of Obranović and Šebetić leaving coach Vujović without left-handed back player ahead of the match against French ‘Dream team’ PSG led by world’s best Nikola Karabatić, Thierry Omeyer and Mikkel Hansen. Big 20:28 loss which does not leave much hope for Zagreb in the reverse fixture next Sunday in French capital but it is sure coach Vujović will not let his players go to Paris with a ‘white flag’. In front of more than 15,000 spectators in Zagreb Arena and in an amazing atmosphere Stipe Mandalinić was Zagreb’ best scorer of the night with 4 along with Stefan Vujić. Captain Horvat and Kovačević have netted 3 times each.
In the remaining two quarterfinal duels Kiel was at home better than Barcelona with 29:24 and Kielce have managed to catch a 28:28 draw at home against Flensburg.