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16.02.2016, 20:24
Impressive Vardar book quarter-final berth
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GROUP 2 MATCH REVIEW: HC Vardar stormed into the Women's EHF Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare after a comprehensive victory at CSM Bucuresti
 

Impressive Vardar book quarter-final berth

Macedonian giants HC Vardar secured their involvement in the business end of Europe’s premier club competition, after sensational individual performances by Andrea Lekic and her namesake Penezic which earned them a precious win on Romanian powerhouse CSM Bucuresti's home court.

Group 2

CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs HC Vardar (MKD) 25:30 (11:17)

Vardar made sure of a third shot at the most prestigious title in women’s club handball, after a thoroughly impressive performance at CSM Bucuresti, who now have to battle it out with FC Midtjylland for the section’s only available last eight ticket.

Having produced their best road game in the Champions League this season, Vardar joined holders Buducnost and former champions Györi Audi ETO KC in the knockout stages.

The last two rounds in the fiercely competitive group will determine in which order the top three will finish, with Bucuresti two points ahead of Midtjylland in the battle for fourth place.

Vardar dictated the pace from the start and it was clear that the home side would face an uphill battle after the visitors took a well-deserved 17:11 lead in the first half.

Roared on by their vociferous fans, CSM refused to roll over and Vardar’s coach Indira Kastratovic was forced to call a timeout after the Romanian outfit slashed the deficit to 23:20 with 10 minutes left.

 

 

Her players responded with a two goal blitz which effectively sealed the contest, before Lekic put the icing on the cake in the closing stages with a dazzling solo effort, which gave Vardar a 29:24 advantage heading into the last minute.

The Serbian playmaker, who has rediscovered her best form after what has been topsy-turvy season, led Vardar’s charge with nine goals from 14 attempts. Croatian left back Penezic was just as superb with seven goals from 12 shots and Slovenia’s Barbara Lazovic turned out to be valuable support cast, netting four times from six efforts.

Spanish winger Carmen Martin Berenguer was CSM Bucuresti’s top scorer with six goals from eight shots, Swede Linnea Tortsensson added five and her compatriot Isabelle Gulldén chipped in with four.

Left back, Andrea Penezic from Vardar, spoke after the game; "First I would like to congratulate the Bucharest team for a good game, but I think today we were better. First half we played really well in both directions but we we felt a little bit tired in the second half and that's why we didnt continue so well in the second half. I am happy we have two points and we are confirmed the third place în the group."

From Bucuresti, line player, Oana Manea said; "We have had a tough week and worked very hard but we lacked that certain something and we don't know exactly what it is. I regret having such a bad game în front of these amazing fans. We have one more chance this week and that is why we are here, to fight for this as a team."


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / ec
 
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