Second half gives Szeged second win against Vardar
After facing each other on Sunday in Skopje, Szeged and Vardar played the return leg tonight.
Thanks to its 28:26 win away, the Hungarian side was, before today’s game, in fifth position in the group, with the possibility to catch up with Paris with a victory.
Vardar also had reasons to take points tonight, as the side from North Macedonia were bottom of the group before travelling to Szeged. If they were to win, the 2017 and 2019 Champions League winners had the opportunity to leapfrog Elverum into seventh place.
MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN) vs HC Vardar 1961 (MKD) 34:33 (17:19)
- Powered by their impressive Croatian duo, with Lovro Jotic and Ivan Cupic scoring a combined eleven goals, Vardar were ahead all throughout the first half, despite their goalkeeper Robin Cantegrel making no saves until the 25th minute.
- Things turned around after the break, as Vardar only scored two goals from the 30th to the 45th minute. Szeged used the opportunity to take the lead and go ahead by as many as six goals, with Dean Bombac and Roland Mikler between the posts being the leaders for the Hungarian side.
- Vardar closed in but did not manage to make the score even in the dying seconds of the game.
- Vardar’s Ivan Cupic, top scorer of the game with nine goals, was elected Player of the Match.
- Szeged are now fourth, tied with Paris with ten points, while Vardar remain last with three points.
The break changed everything for Szeged
Nineteen goals conceded in the first half by Szeged, and only two in the first quarter of the second half, the numbers say it all. Juan Carlos Pastor, the coach of the Hungarian side, looked very angry during his timeouts, but it seemed like his words helped his players turn things around. Roland Mikler recorded some important saves while Ivan Cupic, Vardar’s main offensive asset in the first half, was ineffective after the break.