20230222 PPD Zagreb SC Magdeburg035
EHF Champions League

Magdeburg get closer to the quarter-finals

MAL7445 V
EHF / Björn Pazen

SC Magdeburg did their job in Zagreb and now they have to wait for the results of tomorrow’s matches: Telekom Veszprém against Porto and Paris Saint-Germain at Plock. Thanks to their crucial 31:25 away victory at the Croatian capital, the German champions have consolidated their hold on second place.  They are two points ahead of Veszprém and two points below Paris. With their postponed match at Porto to be played on Sunday, PPD Zagreb might still be able to qualify for the play-offs before the ultimate round. 

HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs SC Magdeburg (GER) 25:31 (14:16) 

  • though both sides have a long European Cup tradition, it was Magdeburg’s first away match at Zagreb - and they faced their former teammate, Zeljko Musa 
  • Zagreb took the lead (7:6) midway through the first half, but Magdeburg then edged in front; Magdeburg, however, could not cast-off the hosts, as their biggest margin before the break was two goals 
  • boosted by 15 saves from goalkeeper, Dino Slavic, Zagreb fought bravely and with the score 20:12, twelve minutes into the second half they could hope for a point or two; but, then the greater international experience and individual class of Magdeburg took over and helped SCM secure a decisive lead 
  • Dutch right back Kay Smits and German left wing Lukas Mertens were the keys to Magdeburg’s attack, and they combined for 18 of Magdeburg's 31 goals 
  • Zagreb’s best scorer was wing Ivan Cupic with six goals

FC Porto can tip the scales for a play-off spot 

The decision on the sixth position and the final spot for the play-offs from group A could possibly be decided before the final round: If Plock lose their round 13 match on Thursday against Paris and Zagreb win the postponed match at Porto on Sunday, the Croatian record champions would clinch the sixth spot. However, if Porto win their last three matches (at Veszprem, and at home against Zagreb and Plock) even the Portuguese side would have a chance to qualify. But, even if Porto are eliminated tomorrow, they can tip the scale, as they will host the remaining two aspirants on home ground.

Magdeburg Coach
We were aware of how difficult it is to celebrate here in Zagreb. We're still fighting for that second place in our group and I hope we'll manage to secure the direct ticket to the quarter-finals in the end.
Bennet Wiegert
Head Coach, Magdeburg
Zagreb Coach
You obviously can't afford to miss as many seven-meter shots, make as
many turnovers, and hope to defeat a team like Magdeburg. They have a
really experienced team and we simply had to react much better in those
key situations.
Slavko Goluza
Head Coach, PPD Zagreb

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