|26.02.2017, 20:20||◄ last page|
GROUP 1 REVIEW: 14 goals scored by Katarina Bulatovic in a Balkan derby helped Buducnost to end Vardar’s winning streak
Buducnost back to winning ways over Vardar
A month ago, the two Balkan powerhouses met in Montenegro in the opening main round game, and then Vardar grabbed the two points in the dying minutes (28:31). On Sunday Buducnost took an impressive revenge, notably with the same score, and they still have a chance to climb up from third place.
HC Vardar (MKD) vs Buducnost (MNE) 28:31 (16:17)
Buducnost had lost two of their three previous matches in the Women's EHF Champions League Main Round, so the Montenegrin heavyweights were determined to get back to winning ways – and they did so in style, beating their Balkan rivals HC Vardar.
It was a very close game from the opening minutes, with both teams having good and not-so-good runs. Led by the unstoppable Katarina Bulatovic, the visitors seized the initiative and turned a 4:4 score to 7:4.
Vardar drew level at 8:8, and later showed their character again, coming back from 16:13 to 16:16. However, Buducnost had an upper hand throughout the first half. Bulatovic scored her tenth goal of the match a few seconds before half-time from a penalty shot, making it 17:16.
Defence key to success
Prior to the game, Buducnost’s head coach Dragan Adzic had claimed that improving their defensive game was a must to get a victory in the Balkan derby.
It was not easy for the visitors to hold back such classy players as Andrea Penezic, Andrea Lekic or Alexandra Lacrabere, yet Buducnost tried hard and finally managed a great 6:1 run from the 46th to the 56th minute, moving the score from 24:24 to 30:25.
That basically decided the game, and the Montenegrin side went on to snatch two points. With their play-off spot already secured, the third-placed Buducnost are three points behind both Vardar and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, so they still have a chance to climb up in the table with two games remaining.
HC Vardar coach David Davis was philosophical after the match.
"I want to congratulate to my players for their will, but also to Buducnost for the victory," he said. "This is our first loss this season, and it’s almost impossible to win the Champions League without defeat. It’s not a tragedy because we are still in first place and we need to be ready on Tuesday to start preparations for the remaining games and see whom we will play in the knockout stage.”
TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / jh