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04.02.2017, 22:42◄ last page     

GROUP 1 REVIEW: HC Vardar defeated Metz Handball in a tight battle in Round 2 to continue their winning streak

Vardar claim seventh straight win

The Macedonian powerhouse HC Vardar further extended their lead in the Group 1 of Women’s EHF Champions League Main Round. After this 23:21 win over Metz Handball, the Skopje-based team have 11 points. Metz fought hard, but failed to attain their first points in the Main Round. They remain in fourth place with four points.

  • Vardar earned their seventh straight victory in the EHF Champions League

  • Top scorers of the game, Vardar’s Sanja Damnjanovic and Metz’s Ana Gros, finished with just five goals

HC Vardar (MKD) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 23:21 (13:11)

Prior to this game, Vardar won six EHF Champions league matches in a row, which was a new club record. In their match against Metz, the team of David Davis looked to extend this enviable streak.

Metz strong in defence again

In the Group Phase, Metz boasted the best defensive record in the whole tournament. It was exciting to see how Vardar’s prolific attack could deal with this defence.

As it turned out, the visitors were a hard nut to crack. For the majority of the first half, the game was very close, and no team could get more than a one-goal lead.

However Vardar looked a little bit more powerful, and gradually they found ways to break up Metz’s defense. The score was 9:7 after 20 minutes, and the hosts continued to lead by two goals at half-time (13:11).

The break seemed to only help the Macedonian team as it took the visitors nearly six minutes to score their first goal in the second half. Vardar’s goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud, who had played eight seasons at Metz, did well against her former team. Thanks to fast counterattacks the hosts were building on their advantage which reached 20:14 midway through the half.

David Davis, Vardar's head coach, noted the difficulty caused by Metz's defence: "We didn’t play well, especially against defense 3-2-1 which Metz played very well. Honestly, we were surprised at their defense and this is something that we have to train for our next games."

Glauser saves and scores

However, it was too early to write Metz off. For the remaining 15 minutes, they managed to concede only three goals. This time their goalkeeper Laura Glauser shone- she not only made numerous saves, but also scored from her own half, making the score 22:21 a few minutes from time.

The last moments of the game were nerve-racking. First, Alexandra Lacrabere threw a penalty shot wide. Then, Metz hit the post, and in a counterattack Jovanka Radicevic scored into the empty net and sealed the win for Vardar. 

Emmanuel Mayonnade, Metz coach, was happy with his teams performance, despite the outcome: "It was a very tough game against Vardar, we came here determined to win after our failure last week at home against FTC Rail Cargo. Last week we didn’t play well, but tonight we improved our form. It was a game with energy and from one side I’m happy with my team’s performance, but from the other I’m disappointed because we lost the game."

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev/kc

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