Sunday · 04/09/2017 · 17:31 · PR SEHA, red
Bronce at the SEHA Final4: Perfect 15th birthday for Meshkov Brest
Exactly 15 years ago, Handball Club Meshkov Brest was re-founded, thus the bronze final was also the anniversary for the Belorussian champions. Thus, the frenetic fans in the arena had a lot to celebrate on Sunday. In the start of the match, the team was in birthday mood, starting in a very dominant way. On the other end, Zagreb started as weak as on Friday against Vardar and needed seven minutes to scorer their first goal. Six minutes later, at the score of 2:6, new interim coach Slavko Goluza already took his fist time-out.
The main reason for the low scoring percentage of the Croatian record champions was a Croat: Goalkeeper Pesic, who had an intermediate saving rate of 65 percent. After 21 minutes, Pesic already had ten saves on his tally, backing his side enormously. And even as the Victoria sports hall was not as crowded as on Friday, the fans were another backing.
But from the middle of the first half on, Zagreb improved, mainly in attack. Led by Markovic and boosted by the saves of Matevs Skok, PPD reduced the deficit to three goals intermediately. But Meshkov still were on fire, taking a fully deserved 14:10 to the locker rooms.
Right after the re-start, Zagreb had their strongest period. The 2013 SEHA - Gazprom League winner improved in defence and attack and took the profit from the saves of Ivan Stevanovic. At 16:14, Zagreb had nearly bridged the gap. Meshkov did not have the same momentum on their side like in the first half, as PPD stood much stronger in defence and played more efficient in attack. But Brest still could count on their goalkeeper, while the time was ticking against Zagreb. Pesic`s 18th save in minute 55 at the score of 22:18 finally was the decision in an intense match.
Statements after the match:
Sergii Bebeshko, coach Meshkov Brest:
It was a good game for the 15th anniversary, and because of this date, my players were a bit nervous. Besides, it was not easy to recover after the semi-final. So it was a difficult match, but we fought hard to win.
Viatscheslau Shumak, player Meshkov Brest:
In this good game, our defence was stronger and we deserved to win. This tournament was a big festival for Brest, thanks to everybody, who contributed.
Rajko Prodanovic, Meshkov Brest player:
Luckily we`ve managed to recover from the tough semi-final loss and grabbed this bronze rank. We have taken a day off to have some rest, forget about the match on Friday and mentally prepared for third place match. It was far from easy but we"ve managed to take it despite of Zagreb" good second-half effort. We are glad we have managed to win this for our fans who have been amazing in both of matches and we appreciate it very much.
Rastko Stojkovic, Meshkov Brest player:
Of course it`s nice to finish the tournament with a victory, even if it is one in bronze-medal match. The SEHA season was full of ups and downs, we did not even know if we`ll manage to qualify for the final tournament, but now that it`s all over I can say I`m satisfied. Of course we could have gone even further, we were so close to final but that`s sport, we`re happy for this win of course.
Slavko Goluza, coach PPD Zagreb:
We played a good game today. We were good in attack in the first half and good in defence in the second half. We had problems before this tournament. I am a new coach, we are missing seven or eight training sessions to play all ideas I have. With more preparation, we would have played a much better tournament. I saw some positive things despite the defeat, mainly by our younger players, who played a bigger role in this tournament. We wanted to play faster but we did not play faster, a little bit was missing, work harder to make this step. Big thanks to everybody in Brest. We had a lovely time. The organisation was amazing and the Meshkov fans were great, causing a perfect atmosphere.
Ivan Stevanovic, goalkeeper PPD Zagreb:
Brest were ahead of us by four or five goals constantly, it was hard to reduce this gap. In the first half, our attack was better, later our defence stood well. Thanks to the city of Brest for the great tournament.
Lovro Jotic, PPD Zagreb player:
We were able to make a late push with 5-1 defense in which Domagoj Pavlovic played an important role but we simply weren`t able to come any closer than to minus two. Of course we`re not satisfied at the moment with the two defeats, but we have what we have. Now it`s time to focus on the domestic championship.
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