The opener of the season for RK Nexe and Telekom Veszprem was their first clash in a SEHA - Gazprom League Quarter-Final. Handball fans in Nasice had an opportunity to witness an interesting match which ended in favour of Hungarian vice-champions 35:33.
That was the first win for Telekom Veszprem legend Momir Ilic in the role of their head-coach. The 40-year old Serb has won two titles as a player in 2015 and 2016.
His team will have a two-goal advantage in front of home fans on Thursday and they need to preserve it in order to win a ticket for the SEHA - Gazprom League Final 4 event in Zadar, which will be held during the first week of September.
Match will be played in Veszprem Arena and starts at 18.00 CET.
Momir Ilic, Telekom Veszprem coach:
It was fine play in the last part of the first half in Nasice. We worked and fought hard, but it's obvious that we still have a lot to improve on. We still need time and we will continue our work to fix our mistakes. I expect a similar match on Thursday, but a better performance from our team.
Andreas Nilsson, Telekom Veszprem player:
We have a two-goal advantage going into the second leg and can be happy about this. Two more players, who have been on international duty until now, are returning to the squad today. We would like to provide our fans a much more dominant performance. We are aware of the areas of the game we have to improve on in order to go through.
Gasper Marguc, Telekom Veszprem player:
We won by two goals, there were a lot of ups-and-downs in our game. We need to have more focus in the second leg. Nexe are pretty strong in transition and playing quick handball. We'll have to pay attention on closing down the space behind us. All in all, we have to be happy that we won our first competitive match of the season.
Branko Tamse, Nexe coach:
If we repeat all those good things we did in yesterday’s game, I will be the happiest man because it will mean we can go ‘toe to toe’ with all the other teams. But, on the other hand, there were those eight minutes at the end of the second half, which we need to forget and fix as soon as possible. Of course, it will not be possible to do it overnight. We have been together for only twenty days, but even after such a short time I think we presented excellent, fluid and fast handball. The return leg awaits us in Hungary, we also saw in the first game that Veszprem was very well prepared for the match against us. They arrived in Nasice with their strongest lineup, only without Lauge who is still injured and I am sure that it will be the same in Veszprem Arena in front of a few thousand noisy fans. Despite the defeat, we showed great desire and fighting spirit. We came back twice and we will certainly try to play the best we can in the return match. Tonight we’ll see if there are any health problems, and the 16 most prepared players will travel to Hungary.
Luka Moslavac, Nexe player:
Match against Veszprem was my first official in a Nexe jersey and I am extremely glad that it was played in front of the home crowd and against such a team as Telekom Veszprem. We opened the game very well and earned a five-goal difference, but after that there was a period where we made too many technical errors and missed clear shots. Veszprem players skillfully punished us through counters and half-counters. In the second half, we managed to come back again and take a two-goal lead. But, as the match approached its end we started to miss again. In the end, it resulted with a two-goal win for them. Second match will certainly be a good one. A well-known atmosphere awaits at Veszprem because of their great fans. Nothing is over yet! We’ve shown we can do a lot, so let’s try to play the best we know.