Kielce’s fourth win in a row halts Vardar’s winning streakArticle
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GROUP A REVIEW: The numbers game was in Kielce’s favour, as the Polish side stopped Vardar’s winning streak with a 31:27 win
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Kielce’s fourth win in a row halts Vardar’s winning streak

Vardar was riding a four-game winning streak in the VELUX EHF Champions League, but the Macedonian side have never won in Kielce in three previous attempts.

It was not meant to be this time either. Vardar did not stand a chance in Poland, meaning Paris Saint-Germain and Szeged are the only teams with a 100 per cent record after five rounds.

  • Kielce’s Luka Cindric scored seven of his eight goals in the second half
  • Barça Lassa, Vardar and Kielce are tied at the top of the group, with eight points
  • Vardar host Brest next round and Kielce try to earn their fifth win in a row in Barcelona

PGE Vive Kielce (POL) vs HC Vardar (MKD) 31:27 (16:15)

Kielce became the first team this season to successfully take Vardar's scalp. The hosts knew that they needed to pump up their defence if they wanted to stand a chance against the Macedonian club and that is exactly what they did.

There was one-way traffic from the start of the game, especially after Vardar lost Vuko Borozan in the 14th minute to a red card.

While Kielce's top goal scorer Alex Dujshebaev did not have the best of nights, it was Polish veteran Michal Jurecki who stepped up, as his four goals in the first half saw the hosts take a 10:6 lead.

The previously unbeaten Vardar almost got back on terms with a 5:2 run to end the first half, but they were still a goal down. The Macedonian side, who have not won in three attempts against Kielce in the Champions League, did not have the power to complete a comeback.

A two-goal salvo from Slovenian ace Blaz Janc saw Kielce jump to a 22:17 lead that proved to be decisive, even after Alex Dujshebaev was sent off.

However, it was Luka Cindric who shone in the second half, as the Croatian playmaker scored seven of his eight goals in the second half, to bring Kielce their fourth win in a row, 31:27.

Vardar missed the chance to have their best ever start in the European premium competition, with five wins in a row, but can come back to their winning ways in the next round when they host Meshkov Brest.

Afterwards Vardar coach Roberto Parrondo admitted it had not been the best day for his men.

"We lost one player at the beginning of the game, we didn’t have a wide squad, so it was difficult to play for 60 minutes. It wasn’t our best best game, we can play better," he said.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu/jh