Buducnost win clash of titans as Thuringer rout PodravkaArticle
«Go back

GROUP B REVIEW: Montenegrin powerhouse Buducnost Podgorica and German title holders Thüringer HC started their Champions League campaigns with emphatic wins on Sunday.

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Women's News

Buducnost win clash of titans as Thüringer HC rout Podravka

The Women’s EHF Champions League Group B got underway with a cracking doubleheader in which the home teams celebrated convincing victories over their respective rivals.

Thüringer HC brushed aside Podravka while Buducnost outmuscled Vardar in a regional derby featuring two star-studded outfits and prime candidates to reach the Women's EHF FINAL4 alongside holders Györ.

Several goalkeepers had fantastic performances on a day of high-scoring action in Germany and a physical clash in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica, where Katarina Bulatovic enjoyed a perfect homecoming with a blistering performance for Buducnost.
Thüringer HC (GER) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) 33:20 (14:11)

If their effervescent performance against Croatian title holders Podravka is anything to go by, German champions Thüringer HC can look forward to a great season in Europe’s top flight.

An opening 1-0 lead turned out to be Podravka’s best moment of the match as the rest of the one-sided contest belonged to the home team, who blew away their rivals thanks to a flawless effort in which several players stood out.

Germany’s Ukrainian-born left back Nadja Nadgornaja, who tormented her rivals with a barrage of unstoppable long-range shots, finished as the game’s joint top-scorer with nine goals alongside team mate Katrin Engel, as the two pulled the strings in attack.

Svenja Huber and Danick Snelder added five each for the home side, whose goalkeeper Jana Krause pulled off a staggering 19 saves, including five penalties as the visitors converted only two shots from the seven-metre line.

Miranda Tatari, back at Podravka after one season with Russian outfit Astrakhanochka, was her side’s leading beacon of light with six goals while Ekaterina Nemaskalo added five.

Podravka held their own for long spells in the first half but having trailed 15:12 early in the second, they were ground to a halt by an 11:4 Thüringer HC run which ended the game as a contest.

There was more misery for the Croatian side in the closing stages as their Serbian right back Jelena Zivkovic was red-carded after barging into Snelder, who then put the icing on the cake with two quick goals in front of a delighted home crowd.
Buducnost (MNE) vs WHC Vardar SCBT (MKD) 23:17 (12:9)

After all the money invested into Vardar by the club’s wealthy owners, the Macedonian champions showed that they are still a work in progress with new signings clearly needing time to blend in.

In contrast, 2012 winners and 2014 runners-up Buducnost fired on all cylinders in a faultless display as they demonstrated purpose and intent to challenge for the coveted trophy again.

Serbia playmaker Andrea Lekic scored the game’s opening goal for Vardar but from there on it was all Buducnost, whose second-choice goalkeeper Marta Zderic was preferred to Clara Woltering and much to everyone’s surprise was one of the key factors in the home team’s victory as she racked up 15 saves.

Her counterpart Irina Suslina had 13 at the other end but the writing was on the wall for Vardar after five unanswered goals following Lekic’s opener turned the match on its head in the opening 10 minutes.

Left wing Biljana Pavicevic, the game’s top scorer with seven goals, was unstoppable for the home side and right back Katarina Bulatovic, back at Buducnost after winning Europe’s premier club competition with Gyor last season, added five while she also dished out several telling assists.

The home side’s ironclad defence stifled out Vardar’s normally flowing attack and although Lekic finished the game with four goals, she was effectively shackled by her markers as the visitors were given preciously little room to operate.

In contrast, Buducnost kept finding gaps at the other end as Bulatovic and Neagu, the latter producing the best moment of the match when she drilled in an unstoppable shot from 10 metres in the second half, ran the show.

Their individual skill left the speedy Pavicevic and towering pivot Dragana Cvijic with a barrage of sitters and only a flurry of second-saves from Suslina denied Buducnost an even bigger win.

Vardar gave themselves a ray of hope when a 4:1 run instigated by Croatian left back Andrea Penezic cut the deficit to 19:15, but Buducnost hit back with three unanswered goals after a time-out and delighted their passionate fans in the iconic Moraca Hall.   

Like Bulatovic, Neagu also netted five goals for Buducnost and Cvijic added four, while Penezic led Vardar with five.

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / br