Zagreb snatch first win of the season against Porto
While Zagreb did not manage to display their best handball in the first two games of the season, they definitely made up for it tonight. In the clash between the only two sides that did not have a point in group A, they completely outplayed Porto.
Relying on their usual strong defence, Zagreb also managed to score some easy goals on fastbreaks to break away, increasing their advantage after the break. Timur Dibirov (10 goals) and Dino Slavic (14 saves) were instrumental for their team as the hosts really put up a proper team effort to take their first points of the season.
HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs FC Porto (POR) 29:23 (16:15)
- of the two teams that still had no points in group A, Zagreb made the better start and took an early three-goal lead thanks to Timur Dibirov
- things levelled off in the rest of the first half, with Dino Slavic pulling out some great saves for the hosts while Daymaro Salina scored a buzzer-beater to keep Porto in the game at the break
- the momentum remained on Zagreb’s side after half-time, though, as their defence managed to get the better of Porto’s seven against six tactics
- Timur Dibirov was the best example of this success, as the Russian left-winger scored 10 for Zagreb and stole a couple of precious balls on defence
- with 14 saves, including four in the last ten minutes, Dino Slavic was also pivotal for Zagreb
- Zagreb now have two points and leave Porto as the only team without a point in group A
Another day at the office for Timur Dibirov
You probably have already read and heard all about Timur Dibirov. But tonight’s performance shows that the 39 year-old remains clutch when he needs to be. Not only did he score ten goals, but tonight his defensive steals were maybe even more important. While Porto were trying to come back using their seven against six tactics, Dibirov stole two balls and scored in the empty goal, giving his team the momentum to cruise away to victory.
Defence won this match for us – we were ready for their
7-versus-6 actions with incredible Dino Slavic between posts. This win
means a lot for our confidence going forward, I feel like it showed us