Kielce take Group B lead with spectacular win over VardarArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: With the group lead at stake, Kielce and Vardar created a great spectacle, with the hosts claiming a three-goal win.

Kielce take Group B lead with spectacular win over Vardar

Kielce and Vardar lived up to expectations as they offered the fans in Poland a very enjoyable game in the last VELUX EHF Champions League match of the year 2016. The title holders kept the two points at home with a 27:24 win.

  • Kielce are finishing the year 2016 as leaders of Group B

  • Best scorers were Igor Karacic and Alex Dujshebaev with 5 goals each

  • Goalkeepers Strahinja MIlic and Filip Ivic shone in spectacular game

  • Return of Michal Jurecki gave Kielce a mental boost


KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL) vs HC Vardar (MKD) 27:24 (15:12)

There was no better moment for Kielce’s Michal Jurecki to come back after his ankle injury, sustained at the Olympics in August. Also Tobias Reichmann reinforced the ranks of the hosts, while Dean Bombac was ruled out with a rib injury.

Vardar came to Kielce without their important defender Ilija Abutovic.

The match started in a huge tempo as both sides attacked with fierceness and engagement. Already after three minutes the first suspensions were given.

Vardar relied on their backs, Igor Karacic and Alex Dujshebaev, while Kielce shone through winger Manuel Strlek.

An ovation from the stands welcomed Jurecki on court around the 20th minute of the first half. Even though he didn’t score, his presence in a yellow jersey only seemed to give Vive extra energy.

Vardar, however, seemed unimpressed and used holes in the middle of the hosts’ defence. But Kielce went ahead by three goals towards the end of the first half (15:12), their biggest lead so far.

Excellent move

After the break Vardar Raul Gonzalez brought on goalkeeper Strahinja Milic, what turned out to be an excellent move.

The Serb saved two one-in-one situation with Manuel Strlek and Darko Djukic, and then stopped a penalty from Karol Bielecki.

Vardar catched up with Kielce as they scored four unanswered goals from 22:18 down to level at 22:22, mainly thanks to their wingers, Timur Dibirov and Ivan Cupic.

The end of the match became a nervy affair woth lots of mistakes and fouls from both sides, leading to several penalties and suspensions.

A mixture of luck, experience and an amazing support of the yellow wall of fans, added to great parades by Filip Ivić, gave Kielce a 27:24 win.

Post-match statements

Raul Gonzalez, Vardar coach: "In the second half our goalkeeper, Strahinja Milic, gave us the chance to come closer to Kielce, but in the end they were better."

Ivan Cupić, Vardar right wing: "At the end of the first half we didn’t use our chances and that’s why Kielce came in front. Still, later we had our chances, but our balls were stopped by blocks or posts."

Talant Dujshebaev, Kielce coach: "We are not in a perfect shape but we fight. I am 200 percent happy and proud of my players tonight. I am happy that Jurecki came to the game as, even though he played maybe for 30 percent, he gave our team a lot."

Tobias Reichmann, Kielce right wing: "It wasn’t our best performance, but we played much better than in the first game. Our goal is to finish at the first place so it’s a big step forward for us."


TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / ew