FIRST TIME WITH A DEFEAT ON THE OPENING OF THE SEASON IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Irrespective of the last three seasons when we regularly started with a victory in the first round of the Velux EHF Champions League, this time we encountered an opponent that stopped us. Paris Saint Germain proved that they are one really strong team which will go for the title this season. The French team won with a result 27:22, although the overall impression was that their victory was not worthy of such an advantage. PSG was much better in the first half of the match and in the last ten minutes of the second one. In the rest of the match, we were playing on the same level as they did, and there were times when we were better than them. HC Metalurg proved that they have got an excellent team which fiercely fought back against the favoured French players. The fact that we lost our focus in the last moments of the game and that we felt like we could not reduce the advantage of the opponent cost us a defeat with a rather big goal margin. It seemed that the missing link on today’s match was exactly the absence of Renato Vugrinec. His substitute, the young Lipovina, was excellent on the court, but when Vugrinec is on the court – anything is possible.
The return of Darko Stanic on HC Metalurg’s goal evoked joy among the audience, and he responded with 12 saves.
We had a bad start on the match, so in the 11-th minute, we were losing with 6:3, and two minutes later again with 7:3. In the next 17 minutes, HC Metalurg put the positions in order and showed that they can fight back against such a powerful team. We won this period with 8:4, so we went on a half time break with calm 11:11.
At the beginning of the second half of the match, both teams were leading an equal and fierce fight, and the score was equaled five times. The crisis began in the 41-st minute, when the result was still 16:16. First, Paris Saint Germain used Borozan’s suspension, and then few of our mistakes to make a series of 5:1, for 21:17. HC Metalurg again got back in the game, and in the 54-th minute we reached to 22:21. Unfortunately, that was it. At the end of the match, we were rather careless, so the opponent used our mistakes and won with a high advantage of five goals.
HC Metalurg – Paris Saint Germain 22:27 (11:11)
HC Metalurg: Stanic (12 saves), Kocic, Ojleski, Lipovina 3, Georgievski, Manaskov 4, Mirkulovski 5,V. Markoski, Dimovski, Mojsovski 1, Atman 1, Cindric 2, Jonovski, Marsenic 4, Borozan, and Djukic 2. Seven metre throws: 0/1. Suspension: 4 minutes.
Paris Saint Germain: Omeyer, Annonay, Melic 2, Accambray 3, Csaszar, Gojun, Vori 1, N’Diaye 1, Gunnarsson 1, Abalo 5, Hansen 6, Narcisse 1, Honrubia 3, Kopljar 3, Bojinovic, and M’Tima 1. Seven metre throws: 1/1. Suspension: 4 minutes.