20201021 Celje Marguc
EHF Champions League

Celje get their biggest ever win at Zagreb

EHF / Björn Pazen

Neither side had secured any points in their previous four matches, and after round 5, HC PPD Zagreb remains at the bottom, while RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko took their biggest ever win at the Croatian capital in their eleventh meeting at Zagreb, which means back-to-back wins after last season’s 31:27 away victory, which funnily enough was their last Champions League victory altogether! The 30:22 on Wednesday was close to their biggest ever victory against their arch rivals, a 30:21 in November 2018. 

GROUP B: 

HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs. RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO) 22:30 (14:16) 

  • Zagreb’s last lead was at 6:5, but later they did not score any goals from minute 29 to 37.
  • Celje’s five goal run from 15:14 to 20:14 was crucial for the victory.
  • After the 27:45 defeat at Barcelona, which was his first match as Zagreb’s coach, Vlado Sola suffered another big defeat on his home debut.
  • Former Zagreb goalkeeper Filip Ivic was another key for Celje’s success with 13 saves.
  • The trio of Tilen Kotrin, Gal Marguc and Patrick Leban scored 20 of Celje's 30 goals. 
  • The overall record of the two sides is equal now, with eleven victories each and one draw. 
  • In Round 6, Celje will host Motor, while Zagreb travel to Nantes. 

Celje end their away curse quite early 

In previous years, Celje had not been the most successful team in terms of Champions League away matches. Last season, they only won at Zagreb; in the 2018/19 season, they did not get any points in seven away matches; the season before, they took a sensational away win at Kiel, but that was all. In the 2016/17 season, their draw at Kristianstad was their only away point – in contrast to two away wins at Istanbul and Plock in the 2015/16 season. Their overall total from the last seven seasons on the road was 14 points, which means one away victory per season on average – which they have reached already after three matches in the 2020/21 season. 

I'm really proud of my guys and everything they did here today. We've done everything the way we've agreed to in the locker room prior to the game. We were functioning great on both sides of the court, playing tough defence and fast in offensive transition.
Tomaz Ocvirk
Celje head coach

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