Nadgornaja puts icing on the cake for Thüringer HCArticle
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GROUP B MATCH REVIEW: Thüringer HC celebrate a memorable win against WHC Vardar SCBT with Nadgornaja beating the buzzer to the delight of the home crowd in Nordhausen.

Nadgornaja puts icing on the cake for Thüringer HC

Germany’s Thüringer HC and the Macedonian title holders WHC Vardar SCBT produced a genuine classic in their final Women's EHF Champions League Group Matches encounter on Saturday, with the thrilling contest going right down to the wire.

In this fascinating contest between two world-class right backs, it was the home side’s Nadja Nadgornaja who got the better of Vardar’s Andrea Penezic as she hammered in the game-winning goal to beat the buzzer giving her side a morale-boosting home win.

Women's EHF Champions League Group B

Thüringer HC (GER) vs WHC Vardar SCBT (MKD) 21:20 (10:12)

What a fantastic climax to a truly enthralling group matches campaign. With two main round points at stake, both sides gave as good as they got from start to finish and right at the end it was a moment of inspiration and sublime skill from Nadja Nadgornaja that swung the tie in Thüringer’s favour.

With the clock winding up it seemed the match would end with both sides sharing of the spoils, but the towering left back unleashed a shot into the top corner that sent the vociferous home crowd into raptures.

Thüringer had the upper hand for the greater parts of the first half but three unanswered goals by the visitors, via left back Andrea Penezic, turned the tide and gave them a two-goal half-time lead.

Vardar looked the more likely team to win, carving out a three-goal advantage (14:11) early in the second half, but the absence of injured playmaker Andrea Lekic then began to bite as they started to run out of ideas in attack.

Led by Nadgornaja and Svenja Huber, Thüringer took a 16:15 lead and the tug-of-war continued right until the final whistle. Vardar had Barbara Lazovic-Varlec to thank for keeping them in the game for the final 20 minutes, the Slovenian pulling off arguably her best performance since she joined the club during the summer break.

Vardar kept getting undone by fast breaks in the closing stages as Jana Krause performed miracles on the goal line for the German side, but the Macedonian giants seemed to have done enough when Andrea Klikovac made it 20:20.

Krause then saved a penalty and Julija Nikolic picked up a two-minute suspension at the other end with 30 seconds left, allowing Nadgornaja to find the tiny bit of room she needed and drill in the winner.

The result means Vardar will take three points into the main round after beating Thüringer and drawing against Buducnost at home, while the German outfit will take two, having lost both games to the Montenegrin champions.

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / bc