Veszprém taking and giving punchesArticle
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FEATURE: The Hungarian champions will travel to Cologne short-handed by injury of their Iranian heavy shooter Iman Jamali, while goalkeeping veteran Nandor Fazekas is praying for his quick recovery.

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Veszprém taking and giving punches

Due to two injuries Veszprém lost a heavy shooter with Iman Jamali and possibly Nándor Fazekas from goal but the reigning Hungarian champion still showed they reached FINAL4 form in the first game of the Hungarian championship finals.

Bad news

The jumping joy of reaching the VELUX EHF FINAL4 for the first time cooled down in Veszprém to a degree that even fans fell into despair due to a heavy wave of bad news. First the young Iranian left back, Iman Jamali suffered a huge blow as he seriously damaged his left knee ligament. He is going under the knife on 12 May and Carlos Ortega will have to do without an important attacking option in Cologne, where Jamali could have become the first Asian player in history of the event.

The shocking news were still hanging in the air when Nándor Fazekas fractured one of his carpal bones when he landed on his hand while training. The veteran goalkeeper is undergoing special treatment the doctors say it’s fifty-fifty for "Fazék" to make it to Cologne.

Home front under control

The doctors also said he would miss the first game of the Hungarian championship finals, and the absence of two important players might have worried Carlos Ortega before the clash with their eternal domestic rival Pick Szeged. The visitors, who made their way to the EHF Cup Finals and had already beaten Veszprém once this year, made a good start and the first 20 minutes were tight at the Veszprém Arena.

But when the home side found fifth gear they left Szeged standing and stormed their opponent. Mirko Alilovic was sensational and the whole team worked well to prove they reached FINAL4 form in due time.

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Leading the team to victory without Fazekas was no problem for Alilovic and the heavy shooters’ compartment was reinforced from the bench even in the absence of Jamali. Carlos Ruesga was influental all game long as the playmaker scored five goals and had a fair amount of wonder-assists, too. With the Sulic-Nagy-Schuch-Terzic wall operating in such a high level as against Szeged Veszprém can still be considered a contender in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 even though the Hungarians preparation is far from ideal.

TEXT: Bence Martha / br