Fivers take first away point after roller coaster ride
What a thriller in Skopje. After 60 minutes, both sides were given an early Christmas present: HC Metalurg took their first point of the group phase and Austria's Fivers managed to avoid defeat away from home in European competition for the first time since a 27:26 win at Cyprus College (CYP) on 11 October 2008.
Both sides had their chances to win but in the end, Metalurg can count themselves fortunate having score the last two goals. With four points on their account, Fivers are now level equal with Toulouse, sitting third in group A.
HC Metalurg (MKD) vs Fivers (AUT) 33:33 (16:19)
- Fivers were ahead by 12:7 in the middle of the first half and kept a three-goal advantage at the break
- in the first 14 minutes of the second half, Metalurg were fully dominant, turning the match around to lead 25:22
- thanks to the outstanding left wing Eric Damböck, who scored eleven goals, and line player Tobias Wagner, eight, Fivers turned the tide again to lead 33:31
- a double strike from Metalurg’s Montenegrin line player Branko Kankaras finally levelled the score at 33:33, exactly the same result Fivers had against Ademar Leon on home court
A new role for Zlatko Horvat
For 20 years, HC PPD Zagreb was his home, nobody suspected the club legend might leave. But this summer, Zlatko Horvat left Zagreb for Metalurg. In Skopje, the left-handed penalty expert is not only playing in his traditional wing position but often features at right back. Against Fivers, Horvat was his side's top scorer with seven goals, alongside Martin Serafimov, including five penalties.