Vardar disaster on Pytlick’s debutArticle
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Vardar disaster on Pytlick’s debut

Jan Pytlick was anything but a lucky charm for Vardar Skopje in their Women's EHF Champions League Main Round clash on Sunday afternoon. The former Danish national team coach, who was appointed consultant for coach Indira Kastratovic this week, had to witness a clear 25:33 defeat at Dinamo Volgograd.

While Vardar remain in fifth position with five points, Dinamo have made an extremely important step towards the quarter-finals, tightening their grip on second position with ten points.

The Russian champions could miss the next stage mathematically with one point in the remaining three matches being enough to clinch a quarter-final berth.

Women's EHF Champions League Group 1

Dinamo Sinara (RUS) vs WHC Vardar Skopje (MKD) 33:25 (15:12)

Backed by an outstanding defence and goalkeeper, Dinamo sealed the deal in the middle of the second half, profiting from a huge number of Vardar turnovers (19 in total).

Led by their back court aces Olga Akopian and Anna Kochetova, the Russian were much more efficient in attack.

Vardar were only in the lead in the initial stages of this clash, and lost this lead due to a lack of aggression in defence while Dinamo patiently waited for their chances to score for their second consecutive main round win after beating Thüringer HC last weekend.

With the Vardar goalkeepers Amandine Leynaud and Inna Suslina also having a tough day between the posts, the Russians forged ahead to their first five-goal advantage at 15:10.

Dinamo kept this five-goal lead intermittently until the middle of the second half, with Vardar becoming even more hectic in attack.

Not only did a Kastratovic time-out at 17:24 do nothing to wake up her players, but Dinamo even managed to extend their lead to nine goals (27:18).

In the end the 33:25 win was more than deserved for the hosts, who now have a top duel at Buducnost - who have already qualified for the quarter-finals - ahead of them.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc