Croatian hurricane blows Flensburg awayArticle
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In front of 6,000 spectators in Ledena dvorana Doma sportova, the Croatian champions defeated the CL runner-up by 29:25.

Croatian hurricane blows Flensburg away

All the way until the 45th minute, Flensburg had a big advantage – mainly because of an excellent Lackovic. But then Lazarov and Vori said “no more“. In the last 15 minutes of the match spectators witnessed the Croatian hurricane that turned the result over from 19:23 in the 45th minute to the final result of 29:25.

Lazarov and Vori did a great job in attackIn front of 6,000 spectators in Ledena dvorana Doma sportova, the Croatian champions defeated the CL runner-up by 29:25 (12:15).

Awards for “the best of the bests“

Before the match the director of Zagreb gave awards to the best of the best. The Euro2008 silver medallists including the former player of Zagreb, Blazenko Lackovic, and the gold medallists Christiansen, Knudsen and Nielsen received special silver coins from the city of Zagreb as recognition of their recent successes.

Great start of Flensburg

Nothing seemed to work in first 30 minutes for the Croatian Champions. From the very beginning the German team showed that they are extremely well prepared for the Croatian 3-2-1 defence. Vranjes caused a lot of trouble for the Croatian defence with his speed and Lackovic scored many goals. On the other side, Zagreb had big problems with the German 6-0 defence.

In the 18th minute Zagreb were in great trouble, 5 goals behind, with a very discouraging result (5:10). But then Sola made some important saves and Dzomba scored. Zagreb kept fighting and managed to decrease the margin to just three goals (12:15). This was the result of the first half.

Wise moves of Cervar

The experienced Cervar was quick to reactIn the second half both teams started very nervously. Lino Cervar made changes in his team and Zagreb started to play a 5-1 defence. The Croatians were well aware that they have to do everything to stop the German side. The biggest problem at that point was the unstoppable Lackovic who scored his 7th goal to make it 17:21. He simply made the life miserable for Zagreb’s defence.

But the Cervar-team did not give up. Step by step the Croatian defence improved. After two fast breaks by Vukic, Lazarov equalised at 23:23 in the 48th minute. Then the team play of the German team simply fell apart. The home crowd gave an additional impulse to the Croatians and suddenly the Germans were in trouble. At the end Somic made important saves, Lazarov and Vori continued scoring and Croatia osiguranje Zagreb finally won by 29:25.

At the end a proud and satisfied Lino Cervar could not stop smiling.

Decisive Lazarov and Vori

It seems that Zagreb are still not aware of their own strength. Top scorer of the match with 9 goals and also top scorer of the CL, Kiril Lazarov, commented:

6,000 celebrated the team“This is one of the happiest moments in my life. From the beginning we overrated Flensburg, but we played very well in the second half. Only the best teams are able to return in the game after being 5 goals behind. I’m very satisfied. Now we are waiting to take revenge against Hamburg.”

Igor Vori was also great. He scored 7 goals from 8 attempts. The line player was not satisfied with the first half:

“In the first half we were frightened from our opponents, but in the second half we saw that we can beat them. In fact, with this kind of play we can win against everybody.”

Zagreb still in the race for the semi-final

The best players of Flensburg were Beutler with 13 saves and Lackovic with 7 goals.

This match was the last chance for Flensburg to stay in the race for the semi-final place. Now, their mission seems impossible. On the other hand, Croatians still have a chance. Zagreb are on the second place with 6 points, only 1 point behind HSV on the top of Group 3.

TEXT: Ivan Ambros