Vardar overcome troublesome start
For a while, the Sunday match in the main round of the Women's EHF Champions League seemed to be following the pattern of the Saturday games: The favourites being in trouble.
Still, WHC Vardar SCBT did what they had to do to overcome a problematic start at home against Thüringer HC and defeat the German main round debutants relatively clearly at the end.
WHC Vardar SCBT (MKD) vs Thüringer HC (GER) 31:25 (16:13)
Vardar were huge favourites ahead of this Group 1 match in Skopje. Not only due to the parade of stars, their own squad consists of, but also because of the injuries which were haunting their visitors.
The THC team was missing no less than three key players due to injury, and on top of this the German champions had to make do without their head coach Herbert Müller who had been suspended for one match.
Still, THC managed to follow Vardar during most of the first half, and even to be leading several times, at one point even with two goals, 6:4.
Towards half time, however, the home team managed to tighten their grip on the game a bit and get three goals ahead at half time, their largest lead in the first 30 minutes.
From the start of the second half, Vardar seemed to be going to create the distance, more or less everyone in the Boris Trajkovski hall was expecting to, as they doubled their half time lead to six at 20:14 in a hurry.
Still, the bravely fighting German underdogs refused to give in at came close again at 21:19.
However, a timeout at this point, called by Vardar coach Indira Kastratovic after 14 minutes and 12 seconds, seemed to clear things in the ranks of the home team, and from then on the hosts went to a seven goal lead at 29:22 before finally taking the lead in Group 1 after the first match day due to a better goal difference than FC Midtjylland in second position.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br