Vugrinec and Atman fire Metalurg into the quarter-finalsArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Sharp shooting and brilliant goalkeeping pave the way for Metalurg to reach their second consecutive quarter-finals and end Danish participation in the competition

Vugrinec and Atman fire Metalurg into the quarter-finals

Ten goals from Renato Vugrinec and nine from Pavel Atman together with another brilliant effort from Darko Stanic in goal sent HC Metalurg to the quarter-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League, as the Macedonian team added a 30:26 goal away to their 23:17 victory at home in the first leg in their Last 16 tie against KIF Kolding Kobenhavn.

There was never any real doubt about the total outcome in the second match in the Trefor Arena in Kolding, where Metalurg were in control almost throughout.

VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16, second leg
KIF Kolding København (DEN) vs HC Metalurg (MKD) 26:30 (13:15)
First leg 17:23. Aggregate 43:53

When HC Metalurg won 23:17 in the first leg of their Last 16 tie against KIF Kolding København last Sunday, Renato Vugrinec and Darko Stanic played the deciding roles. Vugrinec with no less than 13 of his team's 23 goals and Stanic with series of great saves.

Those two were also among the key players, as Metalurg removed all doubt about the final outcome of the tie, as they defeated KIF 30:26 in the Trefor Arena in Kolding on Sunday afternoon.

Renatov Vugrinec simply scored Metalurg's first five goals and contributed crucially to keep the visitors in the game at the beginning, when Kolding started in a breath-taking pace, scoring on all their attacks.

Darko Stanic did not see much of the first three Kolding shots, but that was soon about to change, as the Serbian international saved the first two penalties before the clock had reached ten minutes.

First Stanic saved from Albert Rocas, then from Bo Spellerberg, and only when Kolding sent 19-year-old Kristian Stoklund Larsen to the spot, did Stanic have to surrender.

19 goals from Vugrinec and Atman

At the other end of the court, Vugrinec did not continue to be as dominating as he was in the first match and at the start of the second.

Still, the 38-year-old right back scored ten goals in the match, reaching a total of 23 over the two matches.

Vugrinec did not have to be as dominating when it came to shooting any longer, though, as Pavel Atman supported him extremely well in the back court line.

Nine times the Russian international found the back of the net behind the Kolding København keepers Kasper Hvidt and Søren Westphal.

Kolding were only leading at the beginning of the match, and never by more than one goal. Soon Metalurg took over, thanks to the goals from Vugrinec and Atman and thanks to a constantly improving Stanic.

Even with two player less on the court in the last minute of the first half were Metalurg able to score twice and take a 15:13 lead with them to half-time.

Dominating visitors

As the second half progressed and the hosts realised that the aggregate win was out of reach, Metalurg were more and more dominating and managed to increase their lead to five goals before winning by four and securing an aggregate win of ten goals.

“We were definitely not sure that our six goal lead from the first match would be enough, and we expected the first 15 minutes to be crucial. We did extremely well in those 15 minutes, and from then on things got easier. I think we deserve to be in the quarter-final," Renato Vugrinec told Danish TV after the match.

“They were well prepared and played with a high degree of discipline. They played well down there, but they did even better here. I have been through a lot in my career, but this was one of the most difficult matches I have ever been involved in,” Kolding Kobenhavn's defensive specialist Lars Jorgensen said.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor