In their second encounter this SEHA - Gazprom League season, Nexe managed to secure three points in front of the full ‘King Tomislav’ hall. Croatian runners-up were better tonight and secured a 28:25 win.
Hosts opened the match on a better note and took a 4-goal lead (8:4) in the first 13 minutes. Predrag Vejin scored the goal for Nexe’s first lead (4:3) in the seventh minute of the match and until the end of the first half had 6/6. On the other hand, Vardar’s Bakary Diallo earned a red card which affected the further tempo of David Davis ’team. After the first 30 minutes, hosts went on a break with a +3 goals advantage (15:12).
The start of the second half was reserved for Dominik Kuzmanovic as he had five saves for ‘Thunders’ in the first 15 minutes and Martin Tomovski who in the end grabbed eight saves. Vardar managed to reduce the goal difference 13 minutes before the end (20:19), but Branko Tamse’s team didn’t let them take the lead.
A match with a lot of great actions on both sides of the court ended with another win for Nexe, with Jaganjac netting seven, and Kuzmanovic grabbing six saves. On the other side, Vardar played without Timur Dibirov, and Yoel Cuni Morales was the top scorer for Red&Black with seven goals.
Nexe will play an away match with Vojvodina in the next round, while Vardar 1961 will host Vojvodina in Skopje.
Branko Tamse, Nexe coach:
First of all, I would like to congratulate Vardar on a great match. I would also like to thank the wonderful audience that gives us the necessary wind in our backs and without them we wouldn't have so many victories. The goal of this match was to rotate all 16 players, in which we succeeded. I am happy for the victory and what we showed tonight. We played good in the defence throughout the whole match and our goalkeeper Kuzmanovic defended the key balls. In addition I would like to thank my players.
Halil Jaganjac, Nexe player:
I think both teams did their best today and we gave our fans a good show. I would like to emphasize that we were also tired from the previous games, which could be seen in the second half. And with the support of this wonderful audience we managed to overcome that crisis and finish the match with another victory.
David Davis, Vardar 1961 coach:
I would say that we are quite tired from the previous matches which was crucial tonight, and we unfortunately lost. I must emphasize that the red card given to our player in the first half was of great importance for us. In the end I would like to congratulate the Nexe team on the deserved victory.
Filip Taleski, Vardar 1961 player:
“I don’t think we should apologize for tonight because we didn’t really play the agreed tactics. We tried to get back into the game, but the home team was ready every time. I congratulate them on the victory.”