PPD Zagreb have in front of a bit more than 2,000 spectators in Arena Varaždin hosted reigning SEHA Gazprom League's champions losing, mostly due to one of their weakest opening 30 minutes of the season, with 19:23 (8:16).
'Lions' were able to keep up with Veszprem for less than 10 minutes in the firstl half after which Veszprem have managed to speed up the tempo and secure huge stash of +8 after first 30 minutes. Seriously weakened Zagreb was not able to find a key to unlock Veszprem's defensive lock in first 30 and on the other side Ugalde and Slišković were there to punish each of their mistakes.
However, Zagreb woke up in the second half, Veszprem slowed down a bit too much and fans have almost witnessed a thriller ending. Zagreb have beaten Veszprem in the second with 11:7 but it was obviouly not enough to turn the match upside down after a really bad first half. 7:1 series in the second part of the second half which has almost fully brought them back to life was led by Pavlović who finished the game as Zagreb' best scorer with 4 along with Ivić who was today counting to 9 most from which in second 30 minutes. Sulić and Ugalde have scored 5 each for guests.
Veszprem have with this victory prolonged the 'unbeated streak' with the clash against Tatran at home in a few days being their last one for this year. This was on the other side Zagreb' third loss ahead of final clash of the year against Borac in 'Matchbox' sports hall.
Xavi Sabate, Veszprem' coach:
We respect Zagreb and I think it was visible on the court today. We've entered the match well, defense was working fantastic along with Mirko Alilović and we've managed to enlarge the gap soon. Zagreb have in the second part proved to be a great team with whole lot of fighting spirit and they did not surrender until the very end. They have almost in the end managed to bring the match towards a narrow finish.
Veselin Vujović, PPD Zagreb' coach:
We've started the match well but we have soon started making too many mistakes. In the second half we've agreed to show that we are a serious team which is playing a big role in Champions League and which will probably get through to the next round but without rotation it was too hard to keep on catching Veszprem. Well deserved win for them.
Mirko Alilović, Veszprem' goalkeeper:
We've taken this match seriously, prepared for it well and enlarged the gap in first 30. Zagreb did not give up despite of big difference which has in the end almost allowed them to turn the match over. However, in the end, 3 important points for us.
Filip Ivić, PPD Zagreb' goalkeeper:
We should have played better in the first half especially when we look back at second 30 minutes in which we've proved we can play a competitive match against them. I'd like to congratulate Veszprem on a deserved win. We still have to play at home against Borac in a match which surely won't be easy considering our tough injury situation and after that we'll finally get some rest.