In the first two matches of Saturday’s program St.Petersburg hosted team of Zagreb CO, and FC Barcelona hosted Metalurg in the third round of VELUX EHF Champions League.
After the first 3-1 lead for the hosts, nobody in St. Petersburg thought that the game would end with Zagreb’s convincing victory 35:24 (15:16).
The best in CO Zagreb was their captain Zlatko Horvat with seven, while Luka Stepancic, Stipe Mandalinić achieved six goals. Besides the conductor in defense Tonci Valčić all players CO Zagreb enrolled in shooters.
Ivan Stevanovic enrolled ten saves, while young Philip Ivic saved one.
At St. Petersburg four goals achieved Nasyrov and Novoselov, while three add Chezlov, Kalarash, Kovalenko, and Polyakov.
Croatian champions were trailing by one goal after the first 30 minutes, but with fierce and concentrated defense in the second half (St.Petersburg score 4 goals in 20 minutes of play) crushed the opponents and deservedly won in the third round of VELUX EHF Champions League.
Boris Dvoršek (Coach Croatia Zagreb)
We won a game that we just had to win. At this moment we are a better team than St. Petersburg and we have now demonstrated. In the first half we showed fear and spasm that for me is undefined, but the fact is that Zagreb in the last two or three years almost always struggled on away games. With the attack I am pleased through the entire game, and as far as the defense, I can be satisfied only with the extension. In the first part we stood shallow, we were damping and hence the result and it was what he was. In the second half we played more mobile in the defense, much more aggressive, and it ultimately affected the result. I’m just looking for guys to play the way they play at every practice, and once you’re in the game showed that a dose of aggressiveness, this fast and the aggressive 6-0 defense brought easy shots and deserved win. I congratulate my boys on a great match, a very substantial victory that will lift us now is that we will continue to train and play in an even better edition.
Luka Stepancic (right back Zagreb CO):
After the first half hour in the locker room was tumultuous. We had one fervent talk to each other and I think that this will now break the season. This half, the conversation in the locker room, I think this is the turning point that we finally opened the valve, that was broken, we finally made the click on that for a long time talking,
Stipe Mandalinić (left back, Zagreb CO):
We deserved to win! First half we played in a spasm. do not know why, because of the time or what …”At half-time we agreed, we said” Come on, we’re going to bite the bullet and turn the match. ” We showed that we can and we deserved to win,” We have high players, we moved great in defense. Just as a coach looking for and how we do it in training. Oh, it does not matter who scored the most. Today the three of us had a great impact, tomorrow someone else will have. Overall, I am satisfied with the victory.
CO: Stevanovic 10 defense, Ivic 1 defense, Maric 1, Mihić 1, Stepancic 6, Matulić 1, Matic 1, Save 2 Šebetić 1, Horvat 7, Šušanj 2, Šandrk 1 , J. Valčić 2, T. Valčić, Mandalinić 6, Caleb 4
St. Petersburg: Shitsco, Kiso; Nasirov 4, Kiselev, Kuzmin 1, Lauzin, Sanaskin, Junisebkov 1, Piskin 1, Semenov 1, Chezlov 3, 4 Novoselov, Kalarash 3, 3 Polyakov, Kungurov, Kovalenko 3
In the second match in “Blaugrana”, FC Barcelona and Metalurg had their first duel ever in the competition.
Metalurg fans expected a lot from this match. After the first two wins against Wacker Thun and PSG, Metalurg had the first place in group C and high hopes, but the favorites for VELUX EHF Champions League title, Barcelona showed them the harsh reality, FC Barcelona – HC Metalurg 35-17 (17-5).
With the first save of the match after 20 seconds, Barcelona goalkeeper, Arpad Sterbik indicate the way this game would go. In the first six minutes Barcelona had only two goals lead(2-0,3-1) both times through Kiril Lazarov’s goals. After Sorendo and Garcia scored for 6-2, Lino Cervar had to take the first time-out in 11th minute. It looked like the break had an affect on Metalurg players and with the goals of Mojsovski and Atman they got back to two goals difference 6-4. But that was the only thing that the team of Metalurg did to get close to Barcelona. The hosts made 10-0 series and in 25th minute with the goal of Stranovsky from the 7-meters line, they had 16-4. Barcelona kept the twelve goals lead till the end of the first half (17-5).
After the break, Lazarov scored the first goal in the second half for 18-5, but Vugrinec responded and the score was 18-6, after which Barcelona made 3-0 series for 15 goals lead 22-7. In this period only Renato Vugrinec was willing to score and he was the greatest threat for Sterbik.As the game got closer to the end both coaches knew that the game was over. Lino Cervar decided to give more space to players that do not get chance to play in the Champions League that often. The match lost its competitive side and Barcelona routinely finished the game with 35-17.
FC BARCELONA: Lazarov 9, Karabatic 7,Tomas Gonzalez 6, Garcia Lorenzana 3, Entrerrios Rodriguez 2, Nöddesbo 2, Arino Bengoechea 1, Gurbindo Martinez 1, Sarmiento Melian 1, Saubich Mir 1, Sorhaindo 1, Stranovsky 1, Morros de Argila, Rutenka, Saric, Sterbik
HC METALURG:6 Vugrinec, 3 Markoski, 2 Atman, 1 Georgievski, 1 Manaskov, 1 Markoski, 1 Mojsovski, 1 Ojleski, 1 Pecakovski, Dimovski, Jonovski, Kedzo, Mandic, Mijatovic, Mojsoski, Stanic