Veszprém record biggest win against Vardar
Telekom Veszprém have reached the final of the EHF Champions League Men on four occasions. In their 26th EHF Champions League appearance, David Davis's side clearly defeated HC Vardar in the first leg of their play-off tie (41:27) and look set to reach the quarter-finals for the 19th time.
As was the case in the 2019/20 SEHA League final, Veszprém were better in all departments – but especially in terms of goalkeeping and defence. For Vardar, this defeat was close to their worst Champions League result, which was the 41:19 defeat that they suffered against Barcelona in 2003.
PLAY-OFFS, FIRST LEG
HC Vardar 1961 (MKD) vs Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) 27:41 (11:21)
- Veszprém had won both group matches against Vardar last season by nine goals. On Thursday, they took their biggest ever victory against the two-time Champions League winners
- Veszprém's 21:11 lead is the biggest half-time gap in any duel between the sides
- Veszprém scored their highest number of goals scored in a first half this season
- with eight saves in the first 30 minutes and 14 by the end of the match, Spanish goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales was a core asset for Veszprém
- when Gasper Marguc, who netted eight goals in the game, scored twice to put Veszprém 23:11 up, the Hungarian side were clearly on their way to victory
- the winners of this tie will face Lomza Vive Kielce or HBC Nantes in the quarter-finals
Was it the farewell match for Ivan Cupic?
With eight goals on Thursday night, Ivan Cupic was Vardar's top scorer against Veszprém. But his happiness was not that big, as it might have been the 35-year-old right wing's last game for Vardar after five incredibly successful years at the club.
In the Vardar jersey, Cupic won the EHF Champions League twice – in 2016/17 and 2018/19 – and he defended the title that he won with Kielce in 2015/16. This summer, Cupic will return to HC PPD Zagreb – and if Vardar miss the quarter-finals, tonight was time to say his first farewell to Skopje.
We prepared the best we could. The team worked very well this week. I was optimistic but I expected to play different match, of course. I’m very satisfied and happy because of the performance of the team the whole 60 minutes. We started very good and continued like that.