Nora Mork saves Larvik in Skopje's thrillerArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Boris Trajkovski arena in Skopje saw another thrilling tie. Just a few weeks after Vardar drew FC Barcelona in the VELUX EHF Champions League, their female team almost beat the runners-up of the last season.

Nora Mork saves Larvik in Skopje's thriller

After she missed almost the whole last season due to injury, Nora Mork proved her value for the EHF Champions League runners-up in their first real test of the season. She scored nine goals including the game-tying shot in the dying seconds of a Group D thriller as the Norwegian favourites shared points (27:27) with the ambitious Macedonian newcomers WHC Vardar SCBT on Friday in Skopje.

Larvik entered their first match without the injured goalkeeping stalwart Cecilie Leganger, but also thanks to her partner Lena Rantala and many mistakes of the home team's in attack Norwegian side had a great start (4:0).

However, Indira Kastratovic's first time-out helped her team composed of many international players to come back and Vardar took the lead for the first time in the middle of the half, but this was only for short spell as the 2011 winners of the European top flight  turned the tides again before the break.

In the second half the Macedonian team improved their play, but red-hot Nora Mork was tirelessly paving the way for Larvik to the second victory.

Only thanks to the raucous support of the audience in the Boris Trajkovski arena and several amazing saves of Inna Suslina the home team returned to the match and set a thrilling end.

With Linn Jorum Sulland suspended for two minutes Vardar equalised the score and even led by one goal in the last minute, but Mork was unstoppable and three seconds before the final whistle she saved one point for Larvik.

Post match statements:

Ole Gustav Gjevik, Larvik's coach: “It was a tough match and we led for the most of the game but we are satisfied with the one point at the end. Vardar are a strong team and these two teams will proceed in the main round.”

Karoline Breivang, Larvik's centre back: “It is nice to be back in Macedonia. Last time I was here in 2008 when we won the European Championship with Norway. Vardar are a good team with many international players and we are happy to get one point against such a good team.”

Indira Kastratovic, Vardar's coach: “We started bad but at the end we should regret that we didn’t win the match. It is good that we look better like a team. We are going to focus on our next match now and try to take out a lesson from our mistakes.”

TEXT: Amina Idrizi / br