HC METALURG FINISHED THE EUROSEASON WITH A DEFEAT, BUT WITH A HEAD UP HIGH
The feeling is not nice when you lose, but certainly we did not feel ashamed of today’s defeat. On the other hand, as an absolute underdog, we have caused a lot of trouble for the Croatian champion and forced its team to fear for the victory until the very end of the match. Our young players definitely showed that they have a potential and are the best thing that Macedonia has from this generation. Yes, they lack experience, and yes, the true team-leaders are still developing. But with a lot of hard work and matches like this one today, the results will be inevitable. As Lino Cervar said on the press conference right after the match that there would be other defeats, but after each match they boys became even better.
The reasons for the confusion in the first ten minutes of the match were exactly the lack of experience, the initial astonishment of the opponent’s name and the fear of taking a responsibility for shooting. HC PPD Zagreb used our confusion and opened the match with a series of 4:0. Then, a leader in our team appeared and things started going in the right direction. Buvinic was the one who woke up our attacks and with his four goals announced that we had no intention of giving up so easily. There was an equal fight on the court by the end of the first half, and one minute before the end, Djukic scored a goal which brought the team on just one step away from HC PPD Zagreb, 10:11. However, the first half finished in favour of the Croatian team, 10:12.
At the beginning of the second half, we started attacking Ivic’s goal more fiercely. The Madzovski brothers scored the first two goals with which we equaled the score and the whole audience was on feet. HC PPD Zagreb quickly returned the lead, but did not manage to create an unattainable advantage. Rade Stojanovic marked the last period of the match, when we had a chance to surprise the opponent. His three goals just added to our series of 4:0, which again helped us equal the score, 18:18. We paid for our inexperience in the last five minutes, when we made few amateur mistakes and received three goals in a row, 18:21. The score was 19:22 on 30 seconds until the end of the match, and Marko Neloski managed to reduce the score to the final 20:22 with his last shot.
HC Metalurg – HC PPD Zagreb 20:22 (10:12)
HC Metalurg: Mitrevski (12 saves), Misovski, Djukic 2, Kosteski, Bojan Madzovski 2, Ojleski, Pesevski 2, Buvinic 6, Krstevski, Kukoski 1, Borjan Madzovski 2, Manaskov, Neloski 2, Stojanovic 3, Taleski, and Velkovski. Seven metre throws: 2/5. Suspension: 4 minutes.
HC PPD Zagreb: Ivic, Stevanovic, Vuglac, Horvat 5, Brozovic 3, Rakovic 3, Stepancic 3, Susnja 3, Mandalinic 2, Celica 1, Kovacevic 1, Mihic 1, Sebetic, Sprem, J. Valcic, and T. Valcic. Seven metre throws: 5/5. Suspension: 8 minutes.