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EHF Champions League

Areia's last-second goal gets Porto point in Skopje

EHF / Kevin Domas

The two first games of the EHF Champions League season were a mixed affair for Vardar, with a defeat against Meshkov Brest and a stunning home win against Flensburg.

While Vardar came close to their second win Thursday, Porto snatched a draw in the closing seconds.

The Portuguese champions have been struggling to regain their momentum from last season, but their first win might kick-start their season.

GROUP A

HC Vardar 1961 (MKD) vs FC Porto (POR) 25:25 (13:12)

  • Vardar took an early two-goal lead but Porto were in the driving seat for most of the first half, even building a four-goal lead in the 17th minute
  • the second half followed a similar pattern, with Porto being two goals ahead with only seven minutes left before Vardar came back again
  • both teams’ best scorers netted seven times: Ivan Cupic for Vardar and Victor Manuel Iturriza for Porto
  • Porto are now fourth in the group with five points, Vardar fifth with three points

Antonio Areia’s golden strike in the final second

Vardar had done everything right. The 2017 and 2019 champions waited until the last minute to get ahead as Ivan Cupic netted for 25:24 with just over half a minute left. But then Porto right wing Antonio Areia rose to the occasion, in the last second and in desperate fashion. It certainly won’t go down as Areia’s most beautiful goal of his career, but the ball went past Borko Ristovski and that was all that mattered to him and Porto.

We expected a difficult match and it came true. In the end, we were not lucky enough to win, but maybe Porto deserved their point. They studied our game well.
HC Vardar 1961 head coach Stevce Alushovski

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