GROUP A REVIEW: Hungarian giants Vészprem come out on top after an enthralling battle against Swiss rivals Kadetten, tightening their grip on third place in the competitive group.
Vészprem edge Schaffhausen in epic thriller
Kadetten Schaffhausen put up a valiant fight against more heralded Telekom Vészprem in an absorbing VELUX EHF Champions League contest, but were undone in a dramatic finish when Round 13 began on Thursday night.
• Kadetten come close to upsetting VELUX Champions League 2015/16 finalists Vészprem with a loss of just one goal
• Momir Ilic secures the win for the Hungarian giants with a goal in the last minute
• 22-year-old left back Luka Maros top scores the match with eight goals for the Swiss side
Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs Telekom Vészprem (HUN) 27:28 (15:16)
Veszprém’s Serbian left back Momir Ilic misfired throughout a frantic second half but drilled in the decisive goal as the Hungarian champions came out on top in a memorable contest against Kadetten Schaffhausen, which went down to the wire.
"Maybe this was our best game of the season. It's so sad, that we didn't get a point," said Maros following the match. "We can learn a lot and we are looking forward!"
Having made a blistering start with four goals from as many shots, Ilic missed the next six before he silenced the raucous home fans with a trademark thunderbolt that swung the contest Veszprém’s way with 30 seconds left on the clock.
The visitors were ahead by a goal or two for much of the contest but the resilient Swiss outfit refused to roll over and came close to snatching a draw as they cancelled the deficit in the closing stages.
Only a string of superb saves from Vészprem goalkeeper Roland Mikler kept the 2015 and 2016 Champions League finalists in the driving seat when Kadetten looked likely to force a final twist that would not have been undeserved.
In fact, the home side could sense victory as they nosed ahead 24:22 in the final stretch, but Mikler’s stunning saves paved the way for a flurry of fast breaks Vészprem converted with ruthless efficiency.
With dozens of away fans in full swing, the visitors took advantage of their goalkeeper’s heroics and turned the tide as Ilic showed his class and rifled in the winning goal.
"We knew that it would be a tough game," said Vészprem's Andreas Nilsson. "Kadetten Schaffhausen run very much. They made us very tired. We are lucky to get the two points."
The result left the Swiss side rooted to the bottom of the group with only two points and no hope of reaching the knock-out round.
Ilic and Dragan Gajic led Vészprem with five goals each, while Maros netted eight at the other end and Hungarian star Gabor Csaszar scored six against his compatriots.
TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cg