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21.11.2015, 19:40
Rampant Vardar breeze past Hypo as Lekic shines
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GROUP C REVIEW: Macedonian giants HC Vardar produce a stirring second-half performance to beat Hypo in their final group phase match.
 

Rampant Vardar breeze past Hypo as Lekic shines

HC Vardar finished their group stage campaign on a high note with an emphatic win over Hypo Niederosterreich, but not before the Austrian side shone for 35 minutes of the entertaining contest.

GROUP C
HC Vardar (MKD) vs Hypo Niederosterreich (AUT) 37:25 (15:14)

An outstanding performance in the last 25 minutes of an absorbing clash gave Vardar a convincing win against Hypo, whose young side started strong and threatened to stage an almighty upset in Skopje’s Jane Sandanski Arena.

Hypo held their own in every department in the first half before taking a 19:17 lead early in the second. Playmaker Martina Goricanec scored five goals from as many shots in the opening period, keeping her side in the game at the break.

But the home side then turned the match on its head, conjuring a 12:1 run as centre back Andrea Lekic came up with a breathtaking display of skill and efficiency.

"We started very well. We found our game and good tactics, but we knew that we couldn't play the whole game at this rhythm," said Goricanec after the match.

"We have to be satisfied with our performance during the first half, but in the second we made lot of mistakes. We couldn’t hold our concentration and we didn’t play well. We must be honest to say that they are very strong team and they can play very fast with power. We have to analyse what happened in the second half and try to get better in future."

Serbian stalwart Lekic finished with nine goals from 10 shots, as well as pulling all the strings in positional play and dishing out a flurry of assists to a free-scoring Vardar roster.

Croatian left back Andrea Penezic added six goals from 10 efforts, while Montenegrin winger Jovanka Radicevic and Russia’s Olga Chernoivanenko chipped in with four goals each.

Hypo’s Goricanec fizzed out after a bright first half and failed to add any goals to her first-half tally, while Jennifer Thurner finished as the Austrian side’s top scorer with six goals from six shots.

Vardar_Hypo_465

Vardar will head into the main round with four points they collected from two wins against FC Midtjylland, who meet the 2013 and 2014 Women’s EHF Champions League winners, Györi Audi ETO KC in their final group phase game on Sunday.

Hypo, who have won a record four titles in Europe’s premier club competition, will carry on in the Cup Winners’ Cup after no wins in the group phase.


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cg
 
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