Pelister take huge step towards Last 16
Less than 24 hours after HC Eurofarm Pelister won the first duel in their EHF European League Men double header against Grundfos Tatabanya KC 21:19, the Bitola based-team celebrated again as they defeated the Hungarian side on Thursday.
Thanks to a 24:21 victory, which was their third straight group phase win, coach Zeljko Babic’s team took a huge step towards the knockout stage. As they were on Wednesday, Tatabanya were on an equal level for a long time in Thursday’s game, but still have no points in their account after six matches.
Grundfos Tatabanya KC (HUN) vs HC Eurofarm Pelister (MKD) 21:24 (11:9)
- Pelister cemented third position in the group, with seven points now – only one point below current runners-up GOG and four behind frontrunners Rhein-Neckar Löwen
- Tatabanya had a perfect 5:1 start, from which the Hungarian side profited until the 11:9 advantage at the break, though Pelister Eurofarm reduced the gap goal by goal
- in minute 39, the Bitola-based hosts levelled the score for the first time, at 14:14.
- Stipe Mandalinic netted for the first Pelister lead, 21:20, after which his side did not let the advantage slip. After adding nine goals in this match, the Croatian centre back is now on a total of 48 European League goals after only seven games this season
- next week, Tatabanya have another away match, this time at Löwen, while Pelister host GOG
A red card as a turning point
In minute 51, Tatabanya’s defence specialist Adrian Sipos received a red card with his third suspension. The score was 19:18 in favour of the Hungarian side and the match was fully open. Though Tatabanya survived the two minutes with one man down with a 1:1 partial, Pelister took the upper hand right after. First, Mandalinic’s ninth strike saw the first Pelister lead at 21:20, then Tatabanya missed two chances and the hosts pulled ahead to 23:20.
This team has character and we deserve these points. Now our situation is better and we can play without this pressure in the next games.