Nexe earn home win over Eurofarm Pelister
In the first match of the Balkan derby, Nexe secured a home win against Eurofarm Pelister after a dominant second half. The Macedonian team was having trouble in attack, missing Josip Peric and losing Bojan Madzovski early while also not taking advantage of good defence. Nexe had a win in their hands, but almost jeopardized it when Pelister cut the lead to only one goal three minutes before the end. Dominik Kuzmanovic came to shine with two crucial saves at the end for the three-goal win ahead of the second leg match.
RK Nexe (CRO) vs Eurofarm Pelister (MKD) 29:26 (12:10)
• strong defensive performances by both teams resulted in only four goals in total after 12 minutes (3:1 lead by Nexe)
• Pelister lost Bojan Madzovski early in the match after red card punishment
• the home team was ahead of Pelister most of the first half, as Zeljko Babic’s team was in a lead only at 8:7 scoreline
• the strong opening of the second half was decisive for Nexe’s win, making a four-goal lead and keeping it until the end
• Marin Jelinic with six goals and perfect shooting stepped up when it was needed, making him the best individual in Nexe’s team
Székely keeping hope alive for Pelister
Hungarian international Márton Székely was one of the crucial players in Pelister’s service. Székely was a true nightmare for Nexe between the posts, making their attack struggle for goals especially in the first half. After 20 minutes he was at a 57 per cent save rate with nine saves and added another seven to his tally until the end of the match. It is fair to say if there wasn’t for him, Eurofarm Pelister’s disadvantage would be much bigger.
Of course, I also want to congratulate my players on the victory, and there was a lack of energy in my players. We did not manage to separate for a bigger difference, which is largely due to the Pelister goalkeeper. We have to rest well, recover energy and play the second half of this duel.
I felt tired for my team, we spent a lot in the game against Vardar. In the second half, we increased our aggression and movement, we came to a minimal gap, but we missed a seven-meter throw. The home team scored in the very end, but that is handball.