Vardar beat Buducnost to defend the third place againArticle
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THIRD PLACE MATCH REVIEW: The Macedonian team finished third for the third time in a row while the blunt Montenegrin outfit leave without a medal after three years.

Vardar beat Buducnost to defend the third place again

Vardar beat Buducnost in the placement match of the Women’s EHF Final4 despite the Macedonians did not field Andrea Lekic and lost Anja Althaus midway through the game but Andrea Penezic and Jovanka Radicevic got over their frustrating performances from Saturday and showed their strength against the Neagu-inspired, but seemingly disappointed Buducnost.

"I’m glad that we won against Buducnost because it was very hard to come back in the game after what we experienced in the semi-final against Bucuresti," Radicevic said.

"But on the other side I’m sad that we only finished third because our goal is not just to partipicate at the FINAL4 edition but we always aim to get step further. I wanted to play in the final but at the end I'm satisfed that we simply managed to get back in the game."

Third place game:
HC Vardar (MKD) vs Buducnost (MNE) 30:28 (14:16)

It seemed Vardar, who had one of the worst days of their season in the semi-final against CSM on Saturday,  got over the frustration of having to play for the third place. Andrea Penezic must have felt particularly at fault for Vardar’s mediocre performance and started brightly as the Macedonian outfit took an early lead.

Majda Mehmedovic wanted to avoid waving goodbye to Buducnost with a defeat and along with Cristina Neagu and Milena Raicevic climbed back despite of a number of trademark saves from Amandine Leynaud.

Vardar kept Andrea Lekic with an ankle injury on the bench for the whole game but still managed to fight back and remain up front until the last minute, when Buducnost took over for the first time in the game.

However, the fourteen goals Vardar scored in the first half was the most Buducnost conceded this season, which speaks volumes about the difference in agression between the Montenegrin defences of Saturday and Sunday.

Anja Althaus, who had a much better game than against Bucuresti fell to the ground in the dying seconds of the first half and had to be carried off.

She could not come back for the second half and she was sorely missed both in Vardar’s attacks and in the middle of their defensive wall.

Katarina Bulatovic finally showed some of her brilliance after the break but Jovanka Radicevic kept Vardar close. The game was wide open but without Lekic and Althaus Buducnost managed to hold on to their lead despite Radicevic took Neagu out by man marking the Romanian hot shot.

The tactics started work and four minutes from the final whistle Vardar re-took the lead and Buducnost could not gather momentum again. It is the third time in a row Vardar finish third in the Women’s EHF FINAL4 while the Montenegrin outfit failed to win a medal after three years.

"I simply cannot explain how I’m feeling because this is something that you can only experience deep in yourself. I’m sorry that I didn’t win the Champions League trophy this year but there is nothing I can do now. I spent wonderful years in Buducnost and I can only wish the best to the club in the future. I also want to thank all Buducnost fans because they have been supporting me from my day one in the club," Mehmedovic said.

"We had the same problem as yesterday against Györ as we did not have good transition in the game. We missed some easy goals and were good in defence but then offence was not the strongest part for us. Maybe the problem is that we did not have enough matches to prepare for this challenge."

TEXT: Bence Mártha / br