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19.11.2015, 20:00
Medvedi beat Vojvodina in Chekhov to keep the dream alive
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GROUP C REVIEW: With a small chance of qualifying through to the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase Knockout, Chekhovskie Medvedi showed one of their better performances this season
 

Medvedi beat Vojvodina in Chekhov to keep the dream alive

With a small chance of qualifying through to the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase Knockout, Chekhovskie Medvedi showed one of their better performances to earn their biggest win of the season against RK Vojvodina.

GROUP C
Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs Vojvodina (SRB) 34:30 (19:14)

Vojvodina may have beaten Chekhovskie Medvedi last time they played, but it was the Russian team celebrating in Chekhov at full-time as the ‘Bears’ convincingly beat their Serbian opponents by four goals, recording their highest win of  their VELUX EHF Champions League campaign this season.

Medvedi are a very special opponent for Vojvodina as they recorded their first win in club’s history amongst the European elite against them in Round 2.

In this Round 8 match, both teams showed some relaxed attacking handball with the pressure all but off as they both went into the game knowing their progress in the competition this season was hanging in the balance – with the two sides six points behind second place.

It was not only a special game for Vojvodina, but one too for their right back Alexei Rastvortsev. The 2004 Olympic Games bronze medallist spent most of his career with the Russian club and on his return to Chekhov made an impact despite his efficiency not at his normal levels, his co-operation with line player Zoran Nikolic brought Vojvodina goals.

Vojvodina made a surprisingly strong start to the game, as Nikolic and young centre back Nikola Arsenic pulled the strings for Nikola Markovic’s side.

Medvedi coach Vladimir Maximov gave his side a few choice words during his team time out in the 14th minute and it proved to be a great tactical step. Medvedi equalised two minutes later through right winger Oleg Skopintsev (9:9) with help from Alexander Kotov, returning after a one match suspension.

Nikola Markovic was losing his temper on the line as Pavel Andreev sent Medvedi into the lead for the first time in 19th minute (11:10) and which formed part of a 4:0 run to make it 13:10 to the home side, building their confidence for the rest of the match as Markovic was forced to follow his counterpart into asking for a team time out.

The five-goal lead at half-time for Medvedi was maybe a little unfair on Vojvodina  but they only had themselves to blame as they completely lost their earlier rhythm and it was to prove a lead that they could not overcome as they could only come as close as one goal (50th and 54th minutes) in the remaining 30 minutes.

Medvedi did almost lose their lead in the second half, but they stood firm when they needed to and did not allow any drama in the final stages as they always an answer.

A highlight for Vojvodina was their 17-year-old left back Milan Jovanovic who scored seven - his highest in the competition so far – but it was not enough to level the game for his side.

Inconsistency appears to be a long-term problem for Maximov’s men, as they strive to add their names to the history books of the competition.

Nikolic was top scorer in the game with 10 goals for Vojvodina and for the hosts Dmitry Kovalev and Pavel Andreev scored six each.

Chekhovskie Medvedi recorded their third win of the campaign to stay 4th, with Vojvodina trailing by two points on 5th after their fourth consecutive defeat.


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / AMC
 
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