The long-awaited first round of the SEHA- Gazprom League produced some memorable moments. Dominik Krok scored two goals in the last 20 seconds to steal the win for Tatran against Meshkov after a hard-fought battle. Serbian teams- Vojvodina and Dinamo played a match full of beautiful goals and some awesome saves. It was Dinamo taking home the fully- deserved victory. Our Derby of the Round between two Slovenian teams- Gorenje and Celje PL, was an intense match up until the last second. Next, we were in Zagreb, where PPD Zagreb had no problem against Nexe. SEHA and European champions- Vardar defeated the young Metalurg squad to close out the First round.
Tatran Presov- Meshkov Brest 24:23 (11:11)
The opening match of the season did not disappoint. It was an evenly matched contest, up until the very last moment. Konstantin Igropulo led the visitors with 5 goals, but Dominik Krok was the man who stole the show with a couple of late goals to grab that all important victory for the Slovakian champions. The match was played quite early (5:15 PM), so the Tatran Handball Arena wasn’t completely full. However, there was still 1500 people spectating the match and enjoying a truly wonderful handball performance from both teams.
Vojvodina- Dinamo 24:29 (16:16)
Two Serbian teams engaged in a highly- entertaining match. Even though, Vojvodina was a heavy favorite before the match, Dinamo played their hearts out and deservedly took home the 3 points in their SEHA- Gazprom League debut. Pavle Banduka scored some nice goals, Petar Zujovic played a fantastic match to secure a win against a much more experienced Vojvodina. Around a 1000 people showed up and watched SEHA quality handball after a year-long break in Novi Sad. Not the result the hosts were expecting, but there is still plenty of time to regroup and win some games.
Derby of the Round: Gorenje- Celje Pivovarna Lasko 22:25 (12:12)
A highly-anticipated match between the two great Slovenian teams. It was another brilliant match, where the home fans really tried hard to produce an electric atmosphere in Red Hall. Celje were the better team in this one and they definitely earned the three points. The Red Hall was almost completely full, with around 2000 people being there and enjoying a great match. Gorenje will look to beat Celje the next time they meet, they do have a chance.
PPD Zagreb- Nexe 27:19 (16:6)
It was a one-sided performance right from the start. The Croatian champions took a commanding lead right from the start which ultimately meant they would get to rest some players for the next round. Nexe definitely can do a lot better than this, and we expect them to show it next time around. Sutinska Vrela had around 1150 people watching the Croatian derby and it was especially nice seeing a lot of young handball fans cheering their team on. They were particularly happy when Skok and Kastelic had some amazing saves, but the atmosphere was nice throughout the whole match.
Metalurg- Vardar 23:32 (11:16)
A battle for Skopje featuring two quite different sides. Vardar- the European and SEHA- Gazprom League champions, going against a young Metalurg squad with Lino Cervar on the bench. Vardar showed no signs of fatigue due to the Superglobe tournament they had previously played at. It was a great team performance from Vardar in front of over 2000 handball fans. In a relaxed Saturday atmosphere the fans could witness another commanding match from Vardar. It’s still early, but they already look really dangerous for every opponent.
SEHA- Gazprom League is back again on Tuesday, 5th of September. We have two matches: Vardar- Gorenje and Nexe- Vojvodina. We are then back in action on Wednesday when Tatran hosts Zagreb, Celje is playing against Meshkov Brest and the newcomers Dinamo are hosting Metalurg. Make sure to watch the matches, but also keep track of the events on SEHA- Gazprom League social media!