EHFCL Round 9 recap: PPD Zagreb deliver first win of the season, Meshkov Brest take points against Vardar

Damir Bicanic

Interesting VELUX EHF Champions League round is behind SEHA clubs. In this one, we had a chance to witness some incredible clashes and surprising results. Ukrainian gem, Motor Zaporozhye showed great resistance and secured a draw against THW Kiel. Meshkov Brest managed to surprise Vardar and take points on the home court while Telekom Veszprem secured victory against PGE VIVE Kielce. This round was also special for PPD Zagreb who delivered their first Champions League victory of the season against Elverum Handball.  

(Group C) Cocks – Eurofarm Rabotnik 23:21 (13:13)
Eurofarm Rabotnik opened the 9th round for SEHA clubs with a clash against Cocks. This time, Finnish team celebrated 23:21 (13:13) victory on the home court. Both teams entered the match confidently and were mostly equal for the first 10 mintes. After that, Shevelev and Ostroushko scored two back to back goals and secured 2 goals advantage for the guest team. Eurofarm managed to hold onto that advantage in the next few minutes, but Cocks made a comeback and eventually got in the lead. After intense 30 minutes on the court, teams were tied. Tough play could be seen at the start of the second half. All the way until 57th minute, teams played goal by goal. If one team got in the lead, the other would soon score for a tie. But, in the 57th minute Nenita scored for 22:21 after which Jotic failed to equalize. Syrjala netted one last time for the home team in the last moments of the match and brought much happines to Cocks who ended up taking the points. The best scorer in the winning team was Teemu Tamminen with 6 goals while Lovro Jotic with 5 goals was the best scorer in Eurofarm Rabotnik's squad. 

(Group B) THW Kiel – Motor Zaporozhye 32:32 (16:17)
Motor Zaporozhye showed great tactics and skills on the court in their outing against THW Kiel. After tough 60 minutes on the court, teams ended up splitting the points. Right at the start of the match, German gem showed serious intentions and secured early 4:2 lead. They were also 2 goals up in the 18th minute after which the tables started to turn. Just two minutes after, Ukrainian team tied the result and soon after Motor got in the lead. The advantage was on their side until the 31st minute when Kiel equalized. A few minutes passed by and neither team managed to got in the lead. Until the 40th minute when Motor Zaporozhye stepped up their play and eventually increased their advantage up to 3 goals. And just when it seemed like Ukrainian team will make a huge sensation and bring 2 points home, Kiel once again turned the whole match around. Three minutes before the end whistle, Germans were one goal up. But, Zhukov then scored for 32:32 and teams split the points in the end. With 9 goals, Niclas Ekberg was the most efficient player in the home team. Barys Pukhouski was unstoppable on the other side with 10 goals for Motor Zaporozhye.

(Group C) IK Savehof – Tatran Presov 30:29 (16:16)
Home court once again proved to be victorious for IK Savehof. Home team secured tight 30:29 (16:16) victory against Tatran Presov after dramatic ending in Partille Arena. Through the whole course of the match, the advantage would be on one side and after a few minutes, thing would be complete opposite. Such play could be seen in the last minutes of the second half as well. IK Savehof had 27:25 advantage, but Slavo Goluza's squad made 3:0 series and got in the lead in the 57th minute. But, Savehof were more patient on the court and scored two goals in the last minute which proved to be the winning ones for the Swedish team. The best scorer in the home team was William Bogojevic with 12 goals. When it comes to Tatran Presov, Titouan Afanou Gatine stood out the most and netted 7 times for Slovakian squad. 

(Group B) Meshkov Brest – Vardar 31:22 (12:13)
Belarusian champions, Meshkov Brest have surprised reigning SEHA and European champions, Vardar and secured 31:22 (12:13) win on the home court. The gap between the teams was minimal in the first half. For the most part, Vardar were up by one or two goals at a time. But, the things changed in second half. From the very first moment when teams stepped on the court after the half-time, Meshkov Brest started scoring and Vardar did not have and answer to their great play. However, in the 51st minute there was still chance for team from Skopje to make comeback as they were only one goals down, but the home team then made 8:0 series. It looked like there were only Meshkov Brest's players on the court as no one from Vardar's squad managed to stop them from scoring. In this clash, Mikita Vailupau once again stood out with his unbelievable 12 goals, while Alexander Shkurinskiy added 9 to the winning team. Red and Black captain, Stojanche Stoilov was the best scorer on the other side with 6 goals. 

(Group B) Telekom Veszprem – PGE VIVE Kielce 28:24 (13:15)
Hungarian champions will also remember this round because of the 28:24 (13:15) win over PGE VIVE Kielce. After a tough action over the course of 50 minutes, Telekom Veszprem tied everything together and secured three goals advantage in the 52nd minute. Their defense did not allow the opponents to get close to equalizing in the last minutes. On the contrary, Veszprem even stepped up their attack and finished the match with 4 goals advantage. Andreas Nilsson carried Telekom Veszprem with 5 goals, while Artsem Karalek netted 6 times for the guest team.

(Group A) PPD Zagreb – Elverum Handball 30:27 (16:13)
PPD Zagreb closed off the 9th round for SEHA clubs in the best possible way. Croatian champions have secured their first VELUX EHF Champions League win of the season. They were better than Elverum Handball on the home court with a 30:27 (16:13) result. The match was full of turnovers from both sides. In one moment it seemed like PPD Zagreb had complete control over the match as they were 4 goals up (19:15), but guests soon made a comeback and took the lead. But, Veselin Vujovic's squad stepped up their play in the last 5 minutes and eventually secured important win. Damir Bicanic was the most efficient scorer in the home team with 8 goals, while Sigvaldi Bjorn Gudjonsson netted 7 times for the guest team.