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01.11.2015, 18:20
Rampant Vardar cut FC Midtjylland down to size
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MATCH REVIEW: Macedonian title holders Vardar produce their best performance of the season in an emphatic home win over Danish rivals FC Midtjylland
 

Rampant Vardar cut FC Midtjylland down to size

In line with the old saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, HC Vardar shone when they needed to most and celebrated an impressive victory against FC Midtjylland, ending the Danish side’s perfect start in the Women’s EHF Champions League.

GROUP C

HC Vardar (MKD) vs FC Midtjylland (DEN) 33:24 (16:8)

An huge performance by pack leader Andrea Penezic inspired Vardar to a memorable win over FC Midtjylland, delighting the home fans in the Jane Sandanski Arena.

The nine-goal rout was just what the Macedonian giants deserved after outplaying their rivals in every department of a superb clash, peppered with spectacular goals, great saves and a barrage of fast breaks.

Having come under pressure after netting a mere seven goals in Vardar’s opening two games, Penezic was back to her vintage best as she rifled in 10 from 11 shots against the season’s surprise package.

Midtjylland, who headed into the clash brimming with confidence after a whitewash of Hypo followed by an impressive away win over Györi Audi ETO KC, were on the back foot from the start as the home side raced into a 6:2 lead.

Propelled by Croatian left back Penezic and Serbian playmaker Andrea Lekic, Vardar fired on all cylinders as goalkeeper Ina Suslina also pulled off a series of good saves to frustrate the visitors.

With eight Vardar players scoring in the first half, led by Penezic on five goals and Lekic on three from as many shots, it seemed the hosts could not put a foot wrong.

A rout appeared to be on the cards when the Macedonian side extended their advantage to 22:12 but resilient Midtjylland then came storming back, slashing the deficit to just four goals.

With the score reading 28:24 to Vardar with the contest heading into the home straight, she rifled in three of her team’s next four goals and Montenegrin winger Jovanka Radicevic put the icing on the cake to beat the buzzer.

The result left both sides tied on four points from three games with Györ, meaning that the second half of the group matches promises to deliver a fascinating battle for the top spot.

Radicevic chipped in with six goals for Vardar and the excellent Lekic added five, complementing an array of magnificent assists which allowed the home side to finish the match with 11 scorers.

Trine Jensen led FCM with five goals while Veronica Kristiansen and Stine Jorgensen netted four each.

Helle Thomsen, FC Midtjylland coach commented after the match: “Vardar showed that they are a very strong team; they were solid in defensive and offensive. I must admit that we had no chance today and I think they have the quality to go far and win the Champions League.”

Anja Althaus of HC Vardar stated: "I know that we didn’t start well this season, but it is important that we showed the fans in Skopje that we can do so much better.

"I’m satisfied because the atmosphere today was unbelievable. If we play as we played today, I’m sure that we can achieve something bigger. We just have to continue to work hard.”


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / bc
 
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