30.11.2012, 09:00
Three Maribor players trying to knock out former team

Ex-Yugoslavian derby still wide open before the second leg of the EHF Cup Round 3

Three Maribor players trying to knock out former team

The third round match of the Men´s EHF Cup between Slovenia´s Branik Maribor and Croatia´s Siscia has more plots to offer. Home team won the match but it was very close. All possibilities are open before the return match in Maribor.

Match has special charge with four Croats playing for Maribor, and what makes it even more interesting with three of them played for Siscia in the past - Mate Svalina, Marko Tarabochija and Nikola Špelić. The one that never played for Siscia is Ivan Pešić, last year CO Zagreb's player and part of Croatian National Team.

Pešić with 15 saves and Špelić with 5 goals were very important for Maribor in the first match, giving them chance to qualify for EHF Cup Group Phase. For both teams it would be the greatest achievment in history, especially for Croatian team who knocked Ukrainian champions Dinamo Poltava out of qualifications in the second round.

Josip Ražić, former Croatian international, now Siscia's coach said for eurohandball.com: "We played a great match and with goalkeepers on a bit higher level we could've won with even bigger difference. But not even plus three would mean that we decided who will proceed to groups. Maribor has 'longer bench' at the moment and we miss our important player Tibor Jurjević, but we definetely won't give up. Proceeding to group stage would be a great achievement for us.“

Ivan Pešić was the most difficult obstacle for Siscia to increase the goal gap for return match. "I expected easier match in Sisak but we didn't play well. Our attack was too slow and we had too much techinical mistakes so Siscia had chance to score a few easy goals. I expect to win the return match and to proceed to groups because I think that we are better team than Siscia. Maribor's ambitions are to try to reach the first three places in league and to play good in 'Europe' and see what it brings us.I hope we'll reach our season goals this year," he said for eurohandball.com.

TEXT: Bruno Pinević / br

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