Buducnost win regional derby as Vardar outmuscle Thüringer HCArticle
«Go back

GROUP B REVIEW: Buducnost thwarted a valiant comeback attempt by Podravka while Vardar showed their strength in an emphatic win over Thüringer HC in the second round

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Women's News

Buducnost win regional derby as Vardar outmuscle Thüringer HC

Montenegrin powerhouse Buducnost Podgorica went top of the section with two wins from as many games after making a furious start and then holding off Croatian rivals Podravka Vegeta in an enthralling encounter.

In the group’s other match, Macedonian giants Vardar Skopje demonstrated their vast potential with a convincing win over Thüringer, bringing the German side down to earth after their 13-goal home win against Podravka in the opening round.

Two of the game’s most acclaimed backs, Katarina Bulatovic (Buducnost) and Andrea Penezic (Vardar), stood out for the winning teams with impressive and high-scoring performances.  
HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Buducnost (MNE) 27:32 (14:18)

Anyone who thought this match would end in a whitewash after the opening 10 minutes would have easily been forgiven, with Buducnost romping into a 7:0 lead against the thunderstruck home side.

With international winger Radmila Petrovic running the show, goals were flying in from all angles as the visitors scored almost at will and the home side struggled to muster even a decent shot on target.

It was one-way traffic even after Andrea Covic and Jelena Zivkovic got Podravka off the mark as Buducnost increased their advantage to 12:3, but the battling Croatian outfit then launched a valiant fightback which kept fans in Koprivnica on the edge of their seats for the remainder of the contest.

Led by the seemingly evergreen Miranda Tatari, Podravka first reduced the deficit to 13:8 and then cut the gap to just three goals early in the second half (18:15) as Petrovic and fellow winger Biljana Pavicevic, who scored five goals each in the first half, were ground to a halt.

Lethal right back Katarina Bulatovic then took over for the visitors and rifled in several long-range efforts to keep her team firmly in the driving seat, with the visitors also capitalising on Podravka’s turnovers as they converted a barrage of fast breaks.

Romanian playmaker Cristina Neagu was also on fire for Buducnost but Podravka just refused to roll over and came within touching distance (24:27) after Serbian right back Jelena Zivkovic netted her fifth goal.

However, Neagu and Polish prodigy Kinga Byzdra kept their nerves in a somewhat tense finish to give Buducnost a hard-earned win, while the home team were treated to a standing ovation by their fans for a sterling effort against one of the Women’s EHF Champions League title favourites.

Tatari finished as the game’s top scorer with nine goals and Zivkovic added seven for Podravka, while Bulatovic and Neagu netted eight each for Buducnost and Petrovic chipped in with six.
WHC Vardar SCBT (MKD) vs Thüringer HC (GER) 26:21 (12:10)

Vardar bounced back perfectly after last weekend’s drubbing at the hands of Buducnost with a solid all-round performance against Thüringer HC, with Croatian left back Andrea Penezic stealing the show in her second Champions League game for the Macedonian title holders.

Having moved to Skopje from Slovenia’s Krim Mercator during the summer break, Penezic struggled in her opening game in Podgorica but on Saturday she fired on all cylinders, scoring a game-high eight goals to lead her team against their plucky German rivals.

Goalkeeper Irina Suslina also enjoyed a memorable evening for Vardar, who carved out a two-goal first half lead thanks to ironclad defence and a balanced workload in attack, with Penezic and Serbian playmaker Andrea Lekic leading the way with three goals each.

Thüringer HC pulled back to 13:12 shortly after the interval but it was their last roar as a 6:2 run by Vardar effectively sealed the outcome midway through the second half.

With Suslina picking off shots like ripe cherries and Penezic drilling in her trademark piledrivers from the nine-metre area, Thüringer’s left back Franziska Mietzner was left pretty much to her own devices in carrying the visitors’ flag through a stormy finish.

Slovenian Barbara Lazovic-Varlec, who had a quiet opening period, also found her range after the interval and in the end Vardar’s five-goal win was a fair reflection to what extent they dominated proceedings in the jam-packed Jane Sandanski arena.

Lekic added five goals for the home side while Mietzner led Thüringer HC with six and Meike Schmelzer netted four.

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / br