It was a stacked February in the SEHA- Gazprom League, with a lot of matches, without a real break from the EHF Euro in Croatia. Round 14 brought us some terrific matches, with a solid amount of goals. Everyone is slowly preparing for the Final 4 tournament in May, but we are yet to be sure which team are going to be there.
Nexe- Meshkov Brest 19:29 (9:17)
It was not the result Nexe wanted, and the performance definitely wasn’t pleasing for the fans. Meshkov did well early on, and managed to build upon the lead they secured in the first half. Over a thousand people showed up at the game, to see the Champions League participants. Marin Sipic was the best player for the hosts with 5 goals; Rutenka and Shumak combined for 11 for the visitors. Nexe only have 1 win this season, and majority of their points came from draws- 5 of them! Their focus is clearly on the EHF Cup, but they will also hope to finish the season strong in the SEHA- Gazprom League.
PPD Zagreb- Metalurg 30:28 (15:13)
PPD Zagreb will be hoping to attract more people in Round 15, when they host Vardar in Sutinska Vrela. However, fans that showed up to this game were able to see a great game. Kontrec and Horvat scored 8 goals each for the hosts, and even Urh Kastelic scored record-breaking 3 times. For Metalurg, it was Halil Jaganjac who led the way with 9 goals, as usual. The captain Filip Kuzmanovski was great as well, with 8 goals. These two teams played two excellent matches this season, as PPD Zagreb probably did enough already to secure the Final 4 position.
Vardar- Celje PL 35:27 (20:10)
Another game, another dominant performance from Vardar. They pretty much decided the winner in the first half, and their fans were able to sit back and enjoy the match rest of the way. Timur Dibirov, who has been on a tear recently, scored 7 goals once again, but it was probably Strahinja Milic with 14 saves who was the best player on Vardar. Martin Popovski also had a nice game with 6 goals. For Celje, Borut Mackovsek scored a season-high 11 goals. It was a truly enjoyable match for just under 2000 people in Skopje.
Dinamo- Tatran Presov 26:26 (12:14)
As the season goes on, Ivan Petkovic’s men are looking more and more comfortable playing in the SEHA- Gazprom League. This time, they earned a good point against Slavko Goluza and Tatran. The fans in Pancevo got to enjoy some seriously good matches this season, after waiting for years to see elite handball. The hall in Pancevo was pleasantly full, despite the fact that it was a mid-week clash. Aleksandar Pilipovic was the leading scorer for Dinamo with 6 goals, and Michal Kasal had 9 for Tatran, as the teams split points in Serbia.
Vojvodina- Gorenje Velenje 27:39 (13:19)
It was a pretty one-sided match in Novi Sad, as Gorenje once again proved their class against Vojvodina. Struggles continued for the Red & White team from Serbia, who are still bottom of the league with 6 points. Gorenje are still fighting for a spot at the Final 4; they are currently 5 points behind Celje PL. Against Vojvodina, Matic Verdinek and Rok Golcar secured a win with 6 goals scored, with 4 other player adding 4 each. Bozidar Nadoveza scored 5 for the reigning Serbian champions, who will try to put smile on their fans’ faces.
Overall, around 5000 people attended Round 14 matches, and hopefully had some fun. It’s time to slowly shift our focus to the Final 4 tournament in May. We can’t wait, and can’t believe it’s coming so soon.