EHFCL Round 3 recap: tight win for Vardar against the SEHA newcomers

Dainis Kristopans

The third round of the EHF Champions League brought many interesting moments and incredible action on the court for SEHA clubs. One of the most interesting matches was the clash between two SEHA clubs, Vardar and Motor Zaporozhye. It seemed as though that was a re-match of their clash from the second round in SEHA – Gazprom League when Motor Zaporozhye surprised everyone and took the points on the home court. Only this time, reigning European and SEHA champions, Vardar secured a victory.

Cocks – Tatran Presov 29:27 (15:12)
Another guest appearance in the EHF Champions League did not go well for Tatran Presov. Finnish team Cocks were better than Slovakian gem 29:27.  Even though Slavko Goluza's squad started the match great and were in the lead for almost 15 minutes, the home team managed to tie the result and take the advantage as the time went by. Cocks had six goals advantage at one point in the second half, but guests stepped up their play and tied the result in the 56th minute. At the end, Cocks were more concentrated and secured important points on the home court. The best scorers in the winning team were Teemu Tamminen and Nico Ronnberg with 7 goals each, while incredible Javier Munoz Cabezon netted 9 times for the guest team.  

THW Kiel – Meshkov Brest 31:23 (13:12)
Meshkov Brest also didn't have much luck in their guest appearance. THW Kiel secured a big victory in front of their fans against Belarusian champions 31:23. Belarusian champions were holding great in the first half of the match. They were down by one or two goals at a time, but were constantly trying to tie the result. The tables have turned in the second half. Kiel secured 4 goals advantage in the first minutes after the break after which the guests did not manage to come back. Patrick Wiencek and Rune Dahmke carried Kiel with 5 goals each in this victory. The best scorers in Meshkov Brest's squad were Marko Panic with 6 goals and Branko Kankaras with 5 goals. 

PPD Zagreb – Barca Lassa 19:36 (9:21)
This match had some additional meaning for PPD Zagreb because it was the first time that they hosted the EHF Champions League match in Zadar. In this historic clash, they were defeated by unstoppable Barca Lassa 19:36. With the new coach on their bench, Croatian champions had ambition to show that they can do wonders on the court. However, they did not manage to tie everything together and surprise their opponents. Barca dominated the court through the whole match and won another precious points. The biggest star in the guests' squad was Aleix Gomez Abello who scored 8 goals. On the other side, Marin Sipic and Aleksander Spende were the best scorers in PPD Zagreb's team with 3 goals each. 

Bidasoa Irun – Eurofarm Rabotnik 26:25 (11:14)
Eurofarm Rabotnik's attempt to secure their first victory in the EHF Champions League did not go as planned. They lost to Bidasoa Irun 26:25. The start of the match was not great for Eurofarm as Mirko Radovic recieved a red card in the 7th minute. But, the guests continued with their good play after that and were up by three goals on the half-time. The opening of the second half even was more brilliant for team from Bitola as they extended their advantage to 16:11. After that, Bidasoa scored a few qucik goals and managed to not only tie the result, but get in the lead. They did not let go of that advantage and secured an important victory in the end. Sergio De la Salud Novella was the best scorer in the home team with 3 goals, while Vladislav Ostroushko netted 6 times for Eurofarm Rabotnik.  

Motor Zaporozhye – Vardar 30:31 (18:16)
In a very tight match between two SEHA – Gazprom League clubs, reigning European and SEHA champions were better than Motor Zaporozhye 31:30. These two teams already met in the 2nd round of the SEHA League when Motor Zaprozhye took the points in a very similar match. Even though the home team had two goals advantage on the half-time, Vardar opened the second half more efficiently and got in the lead. Despite that, the last minutes of the match were looking like a real thriller as the teams were tied. Latvian giant Dainis Kristopans brought incredible joy to the guest team as he scored the winning goal in the 59th minute. The best scorers in Vardar's team were Timur Dibirov with 10 goals and Dainis Kristopans who netted 7 times in total for the winning team. On the other side, Igor Soroka netted 8 times for Motor Zaporozhye.  

Montpellier HB – Telekom Veszprem 23:18 (11:10)
Telekom Veszprem were also left without points in the third round as French Montpellier HB secured 23:18 victory on the home court. After very tight first half, the home team kick-started the second half and secured 5 goals advantage in the 44th minute after which the Hungarian champions did not have a chance for the comeback. Amazing Melvyn Richardson with 8 goals carried Montpellier on the court. On the other side, Petar Nenadic and Kentin Mahe were the biggest stars in Veszprem's squad with 4 goals each.