Kielce keep unblemished record and extend lead in Group CArticle
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Macedonian champions suffered their first defeat of the season on the home court.

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Kielce keep unblemished record and extend lead in Group C

In the clash of two undefeated teams Vive Targi Kielce beat RK Metalurg in the ehfTV Match of the Week on Sunday 23:21 as the Polish champions passed the first real test of their VELUX EHF FINAL 4 aspirations and took the sole position on the top of Group C. Both teams will carry on in their direct clash for the first rank next weekend in Kielce.

“It was a difficult match, but we showed our real character. I am very proud of my team and thanks to this victory the long journey home will be a nice trip,” Slovenian playmaker of Kielce said after the match at the press conference.

Vive Targi players had to spent 22 hours on the bus on Friday, but they overcame not only the tiredness after the journey, but a fact they were playing constantly in against a “man advantage” of the home team, which eight player was a frenetic crowd counting 7,000 throats.

And Bogdan Wenta´s team had to cope with the catch up chase for the most of the match as they were trailing by two or three goals. In the second half Metalurg were up to 15:12, but that was their swan song as visitors rallied with four unanswered goals and took the lead.

“Kielce deserved to win this match. They showed persistence, they showed patience and they show a big enthusiasm. We lost this game basically in thirteen minutes as we committed too many mistakes in the final part of the match,” the head coach of Macedonian champions Lino Červar said.

His team, which had to make their way to the VELUX EHF Champions League through the qualification phase, made more out of the initial nervous part of the match and quickly built up a multiple goal lead.

Despite conceding two early goals by Karol Bielecki from huge distances Darko Stanić was excellent in the goal area of Metalurg and not only there as he managed to intercept one break-away pass of Kielce almost on the centre line in the second half.

With seven goals the veteran right back of Skopje´s team Renato Vugrinec was the brightest star in the reunion of three former winners of the coveted trophy just one day after his, Kozlina´s and Zorman´s past club from Celje shocked the defending champions from Kiel.

But in the second half Metalurg seemed to run of the steam and Vugrinec was not an exception. He made two gross mistakes in a row and his side had to pay for it. Once Kielce got into the driving seat it proved to be impossible for Skopje to find the lost rhythm again and turn the score once more.

Kielce made a perfect use of their towering line player Željko Musa who had a marvellous match on the defending line. But it was another Croatian from the Kielce´s Balkan legion who stole the show in the sold-out Boris Trajkovski arena. With eight goals scored and only one missed shot (which he made up instantly after he chipped in the bounce of the saved penalty shot) Ivan Čupić pushed his team to the leading position and to maintaining of the clean sheet.

TEXT: EHF / br