Stanic and Vugrinec conquer KIFArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Metalurg cme out on top in a defensive battle backed by a fanatic crowd in Skopje

Stanic and Vugrinec conquer KIF

In order to prove that playing in last year's quarter-finals was not accidental, Metalurg, in front of the crowded “Boris Trajkovski” arena passed the first obstacle to the quarter-finals, winning against one of the Denmar's top teams at the moment 23:17.

VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16, first leg:

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs KIF Kolding (GER) 23:17 (14:9)

After the unforgettable result that Vardar achieved yesterday against the current VELUX EHF Champions League winners Hamburg, the pressure before today’s match was much higher on Lino Cevar's team in order to emulate their city rivals.

The whole “Boris Trajkovski” Arena was sold out in only 17 minutes and Danish players were aware that playing in the here would not be easy at all.

The Spanish right back Albert Rocas opened the scoring, but Metalurg soon took the lead in their hands and opened up a considerable advantage of four goals.

The absence of the best player in the Danish team, Kim Andreson, was more the obvious, especially in the first half when lots of confusion was noticeable in KIF Kolding offense.

Krist Jansson Aron was forced to take the first timeout in the middle of the half, but his advice during the one-minute break did not help his team find their rhythm.

The amazing saves of Stanic combined with the unstoppable shots of Vugrinec kept the advantage save in Vardar’s favor during the whole half.

Even the replacement of Kasper Hvidt in the 20th minute didn’t help the Danish team to stop Metalurg in their amazing performance which at the end of the half resulted with an advantage of 5 goals in their favor.

Metalurg started the second half in the same tempo and even slightly increased the advantage once thanks to the amazing saves of Darko Stanic.

The Danish team had best defense in the group phase but yet in this match they were not able to find a solution for Vugrinec, who scored his tenth goal in the 38th minute.

KIF had the opportunity of reducing the difference with three minutes to go when Metalurg were down to four players. This action put the whole audience on their feet and Danish team only managed to score one goal.

“We had some problems in the attack, they played great in defense and attack, Stanic played great, he stopped all our shots from nine meters. But we have another 60 minutes in Denmark and we are looking forward for the rematch,” coach Jansson said.

“We were looking forward to this game and by beating the like of Kielce shows we can win against strong teams away, but this time this wasn’t the case. Our defence was good, but we had problems in offense, and we will have to work on this before the return match in Denmark," admitted Torsten Laen

“We knew this will be a difficult match and we had many problems with injuries, but it is amazing what the audience can do. We have six goals for the second leg, but we have to be careful and not let the euphoria take over and start again from the beginning,” said Metalurg's hero of the night Renato Vugrinec

“First of all I have to congratulate to my players but also to the fans for the amazing support. Today the hardest thing is to earn a respect and it my honor when I see how the audience respects us.

"We knew that the Danish team plays great in offense and we managed to win with their weapon. This is one of my favorite victories and wining by six goals is a good advantage, but it won't be easy playing in Denmark," concluded Lino Cervar.

TEXT: Amina Idrizi / cor