EHF EURO 2020, Day 2: first win for North Macedonia after thriller ending against Ukraine

Nikolce Mitrevski

Day two at the EHF EURO 2020 brought us a derby between two SEHA countries, North Macedonia and Ukraine. This was their opening match in Group B.

(Group B) North Macedonia - Ukraine 26:25 (13:10)
North Macedonia opened the competition in the best possible way securing their first win, against Ukraine. These two were the only SEHA League countries that entered the court today which is why all eyes were on this clash that proved to be a real, tough derby. Macedonians were in the lead for the most part of the first half and they even had three goals advantage on half-time. They increased that lead at the start of the second half when Stojanche Stoilov scored for 14:10. Somewhere around 45th minute, the tables started to turn. Ukraine played better and better on both sides of the court and they completely got back into the match in 49th minute (22:22). Even though Macedonians were two goals up five minutes before the end of the match, Ukraine once again equalized thanks to Pavlo Gurkovsky who scored for 25:25 and raised the temperature in Wiener Stadthalle one minute before the final whistle. In the last seconds, Lazarov netted for his team and brought much happiness to North Macedonia. 
Dejan Manaskov showed excellent performance with his 6 goals while Stojanche Stoilov added 4. Nikolce Mitrevski was brilliant between the posts as he finished the match with 15 saves. On the other side, Zahkar Denysov and Artem Kozakevych scored 2 goals each for Ukraine. Pavlo Gurkovsky netted 3 times, Stanislav Zhukov 4 and Vladyslav Ostroushko 5 times for Ukraine as well.   

Photocredit: Kolektiff images