Two rounds to the end of the regular part of the group stage in the SEHA Gazprom League, the five-time champion Vardar triumphed in Novi Sad with 35-33 and secured placement in the ¼ finals by beating the host Vojvodina. Now, Vardar has 21 points out of 8 matches, 3 more than Motor and 9 more than Vojvodina and Tatran.
Two more matches need to be played, with Tatran in Skopje and Nexe in Croatia. Who will be our potential opponents in the ¼ finals depends on our ranking. The first two teams in the group are free in the next phase, and those ranked 3rd to 6th place will play for placement in the ¼ finals.
If we are first in the group, we will play the ¼ finals against the winner of the match between A5-B4, and if we are ranked second, our opponent we will be the winner of the match A6-B3.
We went to Serbia without few of our standard players: Kugis, Stoilov, Kristopans, Dissinger, Gorbok and Shishkarev. But, despite that, we had Atman and Dibirov who together scored 21 goals, and both had only two unrealized actions. The defence, along with Khalifa Ghedbane, worked when needed, and in a short time we "melted" the four-goal lead of the opponent. From 20-24, we reached a lead of 25-24 in only 6 minutes. It was a sign that Vardar would make a comeback and impose its game.
It took time until the machine "warmed up". Therefore, the home players had both the lead and the initiative until the 40th minute of the second half. After we drew 24-24, and then reached a lead, everything was open, uncertain and interesting.
The lead was changing up to the 50th minute, and then Vardar started to dictate the pace. They had a consistent lead, and 5 minutes to the end they had a lead of 3 goals (32-29). The difference was saved smoothly as the experience came to the fore.
Vojvodina - VARDAR 33-35 (20-16)
Vojvodina: Arsenic, Verkic, Ovchina, Kovachevic, Milic, Mirkovic, Pribak, Meduric 3, Ratkovic 2, Prodanovic, Tomic 7, Stankovic 4, Nikolic 4, Rogan, Grodanic 11, Vuchkovic 2.
VARDAR: Ghedbane (4 saves and 1 penalty), Kizic (1 save), Gogov, Kukulovski, Dimitrioski, Karapalevski, Pelko 1, Atman 10, Skube 4, Kalarash 3, Chupic 3, Dibirov 11, Kjosevski 3, Gorpishin 3.