Main Round, Women’s Champions League
2.2.2014 Group 1, Skopje, Macedonia
WHC Vardar SCBT 31:25 Thüringer HC (16:13)
In the last match of the first round in the Final 8 stage of the Women’s Champions League, Vardar with not very convincing play managed to defeat the German Champions Thuringer with 26-20.
It did not started as the powerhouse from Skopje hoped for. Thuringer was not impressed by the names that Vardar had to offer. Their fast transition and concentrated defense were unsolved problem for Indira Kastratovic. After 11 minutes Vardar was lagging by two goals 4-6. The Macedonian champion was struggling until 18th minute when Dmitrovic, and Pineau got a chance for the first time in this match to try and revitalize, until then very slow and uneventful, attack. Dmitrovic was on the level of her task and scored 3 goals for the first three goals lead in 27 minute. With three goals difference ended the first half 16-13.
Eight minutes into the second half, Vardar players were more involved in defense and with few great saves by the experienced goalkeeper Suslina, and few missed unforced attempts by the back line of the German champion, Vardar secured 6 goals advantage. Thuringer took a time out, which was very productive and in 12th minute they came close to three goals difference 20-17. This was not the closest they came to Vardar’s lead, in the period when coach Kastratovic experimented with somewhat unusual line-up, removing the indisposed Radicevic and putting the right back Dmitrovic in her place, Thuringer came to 21-19. That was a signal for the first line up to take over the game, Radicevic, Pineau and Lekic scored for 24-19 and secured safe difference for the last fifteen minutes, which Vardar played routinely for 31-25 victory. Best player at Macedonian champion was Marina Dmitrovic and in the German champion Luzumova scored 8 times. Maike Marz with 16 saves was the one that prevented a disaster for her team.
Helfried, Thuringer official:
We made a lot of mistakes, that happens when you play with such a good team. It is OK, we expected this.
Maike Marz, Thuringer goalkeeper:
Thank you Vardar it was really good here. We were nervous at first but we started to play our game, and surprised Vardar, unfortunately we did a lot of mistakes. The victory for Vardar is expected but we had a good game.
Indira Kastratovic, WHC Vardar head coach:
I congratulate Thuringer for the great match. I knew this would be a tough match as it was with Bera Bera, as a first match after a break. We hope to improve our game one match at a time.
Julija Nikolic, WHC Vardar right back:
Thank you very much for the good game , we had a little problem in defense and offense but as soon as we figured it out the scoreboard showed our play.