Veszprem cruise on the road for defending the trophy

Veszprem vs Motor Zaporozhye

Telekom Veszprem made it to the final of the SEHA – Gazprom League Final 4 2021 in Zadar. Same place, different year - the defending SEHA – Gazprom League champions won their Semi-Final but this time 36:29 against Final 4 debutants Motor Zaporozhye  and reached their fifth final in their fifth SEHA – Gazprom League participation. Best Veszprem scorers were Gasper Marguc by nine goals and Petar Nenadic by seven, while Dmytro Horiha netted eight for Motor. 

Semi-Final 2:  

Telekom Veszprem - Motor Zaporozhye 36:29 (20:14) 

Ten strong minutes before the break paved the way to the final, and despite a strong Motor period in the middle of the second half, finally Veszprem took a dominant and clear victory. Like in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020, the three times winners made it to the final of the SEHA- Gazprom League. 

Motor – without their injured new arrivals Jonas Truchanovicius and Luka Sebetic - managed to keep the match on an equal level until minute 23 and the score of 13:13. In the initial period, Dmytro Horiha was on fire for the Ukrainian champions, scoring five of his goals in that time. Besides, goalkeeper Ivan Maroz stood strong. 

But after the 13:13, Motor had a black series, while Vladimir Cupara in Veszprem’s goal shut up his shop (eight saves in the first half, 13 in total), and his teammates punished any Zaporozhye mistake by goals. It took the defending champions only six minutes to decided the match by a 6:0-run, taking a six-goals advance into the break (20:14). Outstanding scorer of the three-times SEHA Gazprom League champions before the break was Gasper Marguc with a 100% scoring percentage, scoring six goals from six attempts. 

Though Motor accelerated their speed, lifted their performance level and reduced the gap after the break, Veszprem remained quite dominant. But things changed quite quickly: Backed by four straight fast-break goals and some impressive saves of goalkeeper Gennadiy Komok, Motor managed to turn an intermediate 15:22 deficit into a close 23:25, causing a time-out of new Veszprem coach Momir Ilic in minute 44. The match was on the edge, but as Motor needed to go high risk, Veszprem grabbed their chances to score two empty-net-goals in a row, to be ahead again by five goals at 30:25.  

The time was ticking against Motor, and when they lost their defence specialist Carlos Molina with a red card after a foul against his Spanish country-fellow Jorge Maqueda, the chances were decreasing even more. When Motor resigned, Veszprem speeded-up with counter-attacks.