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26.09.2007, 12:38
Opening match: Ademar Leon vs Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje
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The first match in Group C will be played on Wednesday in Leon. Ademar will face Croatia Osiguranje-Zagreb.
 

Opening match: Ademar Leon vs Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje

It is interesting that Zagreb will begin their European journey on exactly where they ended it last season. Ademar Leon defeated Zagreb at home and only because one single goal passed to finals of Cup Winners’ Cup. This time they meet at same venue, in Leon, but with much changed teams.

Dzomba knows about the Spanish teamsThis time Zagreb has one of the best pivots in the world, Igor Vori, and one of the best right wings, Mirza Dzomba. Lino Cervar will be on the bench, one of the best handball coaches in the world also. Bad news for Ademar Leon is that they all have tremendous international experience and they know Spanish teams and players very well – especially Vori and Dzomba who played in Asobal league for years.

“Zagreb has a completely new team now. We are much stronger and I think Leon are somewhat weaker then last season. Nevertheless, they are one of the best Spanish teams, so it wouldn't be a disaster to lose the away match because – this is only the group stage, “said Igor Vori, pivot of Zagreb, who arrived from Barcelona.

The game plan of Dzomba 

“The most important for us is to hold on a close score as long as possible and in the last ten minutes we should take the advantage. Ademar Leon are impossible to break because they keep the same rhythm during the entire 60 minutes. Their most dangerous player is Claus Jakobsen and he has to be stopped. Our offence must find the way to cope with their aggressive 6-0 defence with excellent goalkeepers – usually followed by fast breaks of Stranovsky and Krivoshlykov. We must be very cautious and focused not to let these fast breaks happen. Then, of course, there is our 3-2-1 defence which will cause trouble for them,“ explained Mirza Dzomba, right wing player of Zagreb, former player of Ciudad Real. He knows all Ademar players very well.

Brothers meet

Two Croats will play in Ademar: Mirko Alilovic (goalkeeper) and Tonci Valcic (back player). They are both Croatian NT players and basically they will be playing against their NT. This time they will have to forget their origin and patriotic emotions and be the handball professionals that they are. Tonci Valcic will have an especially tough task who will be playing against his brother, Josip Valcic. Josip is the middle back of Zagreb.

One more reason to predict a spectacular game is the fact that the referees will be Valentin Vakula and Aleksandr Liudovyk from Ukraine, surely one of the best referees in the world. The match will be played in Leon on Wednesday at 21:00. The match will be broadcast live on Castilla y Leon and Croatian HTV 2.


TEXT: Ivan Ambros
 
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