Heroic Vardar one step closer to Cologne

Vardar EHFCL

In what looks to be one of the last Champions League matches of Vardar we know, in front of the incredible Skopje audience, Vardar played a sensational match to earn a win over MOL-Pick Szeged in quarter-finals of the Velux EHF Champions League. SC Jane Sandanski was completely coloured in red and black and witnessed a spectacular match.

After the Hungarian champions jumped to an early lead, Vardar shifted gears and quickly took over in the first half, with 8-4.  Kristopans and Karacic were leading Parrondo's troops, but the atmosphere became even more electric after Milosavljev stopped Kallman and Igor Karacic scored for 11-6. However, Pick Szeged were not ready to give up, as Banhidi and Canellas brought them to 12-11. The nail-biting first half finished 14-12 for the home team.

The second half looked much like the first 30 minutes. Vardar were in command for most of the time with Stas Skube leading the way, but Pick Szeged displayed character to close the deficit to -1, as they made it 21-20. However, the sensational Vardar, carried only by their legendary fighting spirit, once again shifted gears in a way only they know. They went up by 3 goals but didn't stop there. In the final minutes of the match, it seemed like everything was going Vardar's way. Brilliant Milosavljev made save after save, Vardar's players were scoring goal after goal and it resulted in a massive 28-22 lead with less than three minutes remaining. SEHA champions were not done yet, as Dibirov, Karacic and Kristopans made the final statements versus Pick Szeged, and the final score of 31-23.

In the end, Karacic, in his last European home match in SC Jane Sandanski, led Vardar with 8 goals. Kristopans added 7 more, whilst Skube scored 6 and Dibirov 4 goals. Dejan Milosavljev had a huge second half and finished with 10 saves. Vardar made a huge step forward towards their third consecutive trip to the EHF Champions League Final 4 in Cologne. The second match of this quarter-final is scheduled for Sunday, May 5th.