Serbian champion Vojvodina has managed to make big surprise in Skopje, and beat Vardar, 25-23 (11-10) in 14th round of SEHA GSS league making F4 race even more complicated for Macedonian team. Instead of an "easy game" Vardar expected to have, home team was doing their best to catch opponents and get some points.
Vardar will now have to win each match until the end of the regular part of the season. For Vojvodina on the other side this result means nothing as they are still on the sixth place but have gained even more motivation for matches against the strongest opponents.
Current SEHA GSS league's vice champion was playing without both of their right backs, Valdimir Petric and Alex Dujshebaev and their left back Alexei Rastorcev. Coach Raul Gonzales has by that decided to give pivot Alem Toskic and goalkeeper Inaki Malumbres rest. On the other hand Vojvodina came to Skopje with their best team which will try to defend national championship title. Obviously coach Djordje Cirkovic's work is beginning to get more and more visible.
Vardar was leading until 15th minute of the game when Vojvodina managed to turn the match upside down. Match was after that held in egal until Vojvodina's final 4-1 series which has brought them in the lead which Vardar simply was not able to catch. Both goalkeepers have had a great night but Kocic's 18 saves were in the end decisive for the win. Vardar still has time to reach the Final Four and their next match is the one in Osijek against NEXE which they now can't afford to lose. Lovcen will on the other hand host Vojvodina on Friday.
Raul Gonzalez, Vardar's coach:
-First of all, I want to congratulate Vojvodina. They've played a really good game tonight on both sides of the court. We've made to much technical mistakes and our defense was not on the required level. We have managed to catch the equaliser but they were better and won the match in the end. I want my players to rest for the upcoming matches, both in EHF's Champions League, and SEHA Final Four, of course, if we make it to the final tournament. We still have 4 matches, and if we win all of them, we will play there.
Igor Karacic, Vardar's playmaker:
- Vojvodina deserved this win. Simply, we were not in this game, but it happens. This is a good example that should not underestimate anyone, and Vojvodina has managed to show us what happens if you do. I believe we need a bit of rest and then we'll be able to continue our winning streak.
Djordje Cirkovic, Vojvodina's coach:
- Congratulations to Vardar for their correct way of playing. For my team this result means nothing, because we cannot move higher from the 6th place of the table. But, from the other hand, to win against such a good team, this is a huge boost for us, because it makes us to believe in ourselves, and this is very important for the future. I‘m proud of my players, especially of our goalkeeper Miroslav Kocic, who had fantastic game, saving about 50 % of the shots.
Miroslav Kocic, Vojvodina's goalkeeper:
-This is first big win for our team, because to win against a team that has already qualified for EHF CL's LAst 16, it is a real success. We knew that is going to be a difficult game, but also we knew about their weaknesses, because they were so tired after two games abroad, especially against PSG in Paris last weekend. I want to congratulate Vardar for their fair play, but also I‘m happy because we've deserved this win.