Davis starts with an emphatic victory in SkopjeArticle
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GROUP В REVIEW: In the first game under new head coach, David Davis, HC Vardar won a clear victory over Astrakhanochka and secured a sport in the Women’s EHF Champions League Main Round.

Davis starts with an emphatic victory in Skopje

Even though HC Vardar earned two points in Astrakhan one week ago, they somewhat struggled in the game against the Russian champions.

At home they felt more comfortable. David Davis’ debut in the role of head coach proved to be successful, as his team won 39:25 and now are through to the main round.

  • HC Vardar won their third victory in a row and secured a spot in the main round
  • It was David Davis’ first match at the helm of Vardar
  • The EHF Champions league debutant, Astrakhanochka, suffered their biggest defeat so far in the competition

HC Vardar (MKD) vs. Astrakhanochka (RUS)  39:25, 18:13

After the home match against Vardar, which Astrakhanochka lost 26:31, the Russian team’s head coach, Mikhail Seregin, hoped that his players would learn their lesson.

Yet, the Macedonian champions were once again a hard obstacle, since the team from Skopje simply have more experience and depth.
Vardar more efficient.

Vardar’s new head coach, David Davis, could not rely on right back, Barbara Lazovic, who had hurt her eye in the previous game against Astrakhanochka. On the other hand, central back, Andrea Lekic, made a comeback after an injury and she had her impact on the game, scoring three goals.

Before fourth round, Andrea Penezic was the top scorer of the entire Women’s EHF Champions League. But, Vardar have a number of players who are able to play a decisive role on the court.

The time has come for Jovanka Radicevic, as the Montenegrin scored six times already before half-time. The hosts started to systematically build on their advantage from the very first minute. For most of the first half, they led by three to six goals. The Russian team managed to stay in the game, but their attacks were less efficient that Vardar’s.

One of the reasons that Vardar let 18:13 at half time was Skopje’s goalkeeper, Mayssa Pessoa De Oliveira, who played very well and made a number of saves.

Astrakhanochka collapsed after the break

After the break, the hosts’ domination was even more obvious. Astrakhanochka’s players made a lot of mistakes and with only five minutes into the second half, Vardar led 23:15.

That prompted Mikhail Seregin to take a time out, but it did not seem to help. The visitors could not find a remedy against their opponent, their defense collapsed and the gap between the teams was slowly growing, as 14 goals separated the two teams in the end. Vardar emphatically won 39:25.

Jovanka Radicevic was the hosts’ top scorer with nine goals, while Kristina Kozhokar scored seven times for Astrakhanochka.

Said after the game:

Michail Seregin,  Astrakhanochka coach: “I’m disappointed because today we played badly and we couldn’t really catch the rhythm that we planned. We lost so many balls; we made technical mistakes and it was almost impossible to come back. We kept trying all the time, but we couldn’t manage it. We have to learn from this game, because it was like lesson for gaining an experience for my players. We have to work hard and try to make better results in our next game.”

David Davis, HC Vardar coach: “Astrakhanochka are young and talented team with such a bright future. They played similar game to Vardar and I believe that if they continue with this rhythm, they will show their true potential. We made some mistakes, but I can understand it, because we have had change in coaching position and we needed some time to adapt to the new system. We have to be prepared for the next games, which are very important and also to improve our game. Today, it was only our first step.”

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev/tm