Magnificent Alilovic denies PlockArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: MKB-MVM Veszprem qualified for the VELUX EHF Champions League Quarter-finals as the first team on Saturday.

Magnificent Alilovic denies Plock

In their 200th EHF Champions League match MKB-MVM Veszprém managed to beat the combative Orlen Wisla Plock 31:26 and qualified for the quarter-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16, second leg:
MKB-MVM Veszprém (HUN) vs Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 31:26 (16:11)
First leg: 33:34, Veszprém qualified for quarter-finals on aggregate score 64:60

There was a lot at stake after Plock beat Veszprém 34:33 in Poland, no wonder both teams started nervously in the jam packed Veszprém Aréna.

After the bitter struggle of the first 10 minutes Mirko Alilovic brought the much needed confidence for Veszprém with some incredible saves. The home side took a narrow lead thanks to goals from Momir Ilics and Iman Jamali but the Polish side did not come to Veszprém to surrender.

Plock fought really well but was hit hard by the indiscipline of their defensive captain as Kamil Syprzak collected 3 two-minutes in the space of 19 minutes. From this point the visitors found it difficult to stop Hungarian attacks, and Veszprém quickly built up a five goal advantage to the interval.

Alilovic stole the show

The Croatian goalkeeper continued to frustrate Plock while Veszprém’s attacks became more fluid when Carlos Ruesga took the pitch. The visitors never came closer than four goals but managed to stay in the game although Veszprém had a fair amount of chances to put an end to their hopes. 

The Hungarian outfit comfortably kept their 5-6 goal lead, Cadenas opened his defense only to see Sulic score freely with more available space.

The visitors never said die and respectfully fought all the way but ran out of steam for the final stages and Veszprém put an end to the game. MKB showed some of their strength but it was Alilovic who decided the game.

"Chance to play for our dreams"

"It was a huge duell with Plock, they made us fight till the end. Kudos to the visitors for staying in the game all the way," said Carlos Ortega, head coach of MKB-MVM Veszprém. "The time has come for us to play for our dreams!”

Manolo Cadenas was proud of his team. "We fought as well as we could but against such a strong team in such an atmosphere all we could achieve was to give Veszprém a fight.”

László Nagy thanked both sets of fans: "I want to thank both the Polish and Hungarian fans for creating such an inspiring atmosphere for both games. It was a handball festival in Veszprém!”

TEXT: Bence Martha / br