Kozakevych secures first points for Motor
After their last two EHF Champions League Men matches had been postponed and with zero points on their account, HC Motor travelled to Celje – and after 60 thrilling minutes, they are now equal with the hosts on two points.
Artem Kozakevych’s final strike and a strong performance from veteran Barys Pukhousky saved the day for Motor, while Celje’s dream of two wins in a row ended with the final buzzer.
RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO) vs HC Motor (UKR) 31:32 (14:17)
- it was Motor’s first away victory in the EHF Champions League since they won at HBC Nantes in November 2018
- On the other hand, Celje still await their first home win in the Champions League since November 2019 after their home defeats against Aalborg, Kiel and now Motor
- Celje’s last lead was 11:10 in minute 21 but they levelled the score four times, including the 31:31 in minute 59
- the biggest gap in this tight thriller was three goals, and several times Motor were ahead by this distance
- after a two-week break, Celje will travel to Nantes for their seventh group match, while Motor have another crucial encounter at Zagreb ahead
Experience is Motor’s key
Looking at three of the four best scorers for Motor at Celje is similar to wine: the older, the better. 33-year-old Barys Pukhousky was the top scorer with six goals, Pavlo Gurkovsky (35) scored four times and Aidenas Malasinaskas (34) added three goals in this victory. Taking into account that the average age of the Celje team is around 22 years, it was like men versus boys.
This is the first ever win here, so this is double joy for our club. I am satisfied with the character of my players. There were ups and downs and at the end we had some luck to win this match.