PPD Zagreb handball players suffered their fifth defeat in the new season of the Champions League, but in Veszprem they put up strong resistance against the home team, who won 32-28 (16-15) in the match of the 7th round of Group A.
Željko Musa was the top scorer of the Croatian champion with five goals, while Timur Dibirov, Stefan Dodić, Csaba Leimeter and Nikola Grahovac scored three goals each. Goalkeeper Dino Slavić was excellent, stopping two seven-pointers and making 11 saves in total.
The home scorers were led by Petar Nenadić with six goals, while Fathy Omar and Gašper Marguč scored five each. Manuel Štrlek scored two goals for the home team. Goalkeeper Vladimir Cupara made 11 saves.
PPD Zagreb handball players came to visit Veszprem with one victory and three points won in their previous six appearances in the Champions League, while the home team dropped only one point in the first six rounds and was considered the favorite.
That’s how the Hungarians started the duel in which Slavko Goluža made his debut on the bench of “Zagreb” in the Champions League. Gašper Marguč scored twice, and PPD Zagreb needed more than five minutes for the first goal. In the 10th minute, Veszprem had +3 (5-2), but then the guests’ defense became stronger and more efficient, so PPD Zagreb came within a goal behind with the goals of Stefan Dodić and Jakov Gojun.
In the 18th minute, the guests took the lead. In less than a minute, Csaba Leimeter, Paolo Kraljević and Gojun scored three goals for 7-6. At 11-10 for Zagreb, Musa failed to score for a two-goal lead, and at 11-11, Timur Dibirov failed to make a seven-pointer, which “gave wings” to the Hungarians, and in the 27th minute they again reached +3 (15-12 ).
However, this did not lead to despondency among PPD Zagreb players. Exactly the opposite. The visitors scored three goals in the last two and a half minutes and conceded only one goal, leaving at halftime with a minimal deficit (16-15).
The excellent resistance of Goluzha’s team continued in the first ten minutes of the second half. after which the score was 21-21. Dino Slavić “removed” the sevens and “ziceres”, thus making up for the deficit created by the Turkish referees Erdogan and Ozdeniz with their slightly domestic criteria.
Two technical errors by Kavčič led to a 3-0 series, which the Hungarians went to +3 (24-21) in the 44th minute.
However, as in the first half, the guests did not allow the “disintegration of the system”. With goals from Kraljević, Klarica and Grahovac, Zagreb tied the score at 24-24 in the 47th minute.
In a very fast game on both sides, it was again the turn of the home team, who in the 50th minute again had +3 (27-24), and in the 53rd minute they had the largest four-goal advantage (29-25).
Zagreb once again threatened the home team, getting closer to 29-27. The Croatian champion had an attack for -1, but Klarica’s shot was saved by Vladimir Cupara. This was followed by two quick goals from the home team with one more player, with which Veszprem broke the tie.
PPD Zagreb provided excellent resistance to the favored Veszprem, who had to work hard for the win, even though they had three fewer shutouts and two more sevens, and secured the 32-28 victory only in the very end.
Veszprem returned to the top of the table with 13 points, one more than PSG. PPD Zagreb remained in seventh position with three points.