In the opening match of the last round of the Group Stage in the EHF Champions League, the only undefeated team of the competition, Vardar met Thüringer HC in Skopje. As Vardar has already won the group before, the match was more important for the Germans to qualify for the Main Round: a win would have sent them to the next stage of the competition. However, Skopje is not the place where the opponents usually add points to their conto. In the first half, Thüringer HC forced last season’s finalist to a big fight, they didn’t let the match easily slip away from their hands. Even though it was Vardar who had the lead, the Germans were following close behind. In the middle period of the first half, Vardar’s advantage grew to 4 goals (10-6) and the match seemed on the right track for the home team. In the final minutes of the half, THC managed to equalize and the two teams went to the half time break with 12-12.
In the beginning of the second half, Vardar wanted to decide all the question marks left in the match: after less than 10 minutes gone from the half, they were already leading by 6 goals (20-14). The Macedonians strenghtened their defense and were more effective in attacks, using a lot of fast breaks. As the difference was growing, the chances of Thüringer HC seemed to fade away for taking a point from Skopje and securing their place in the Main Round on their own. With one and a half minute left from the match, the difference grew to 10 goals but in the final minute, the Germans managed to stay inside the 10 goal margin. Their 29-21 defeat means they will need to wait for the result of the match between Larvik HK and FTC. If Larvik saves a point at home against the Hungarian silver medalists, they go through to the next stage. In the case of a Hungarian victory, Thüringer HC will continue the competition. Vardar takes the maximum 8 points to the Main Round.
EHF Champions League – Group C – 6th round
Vardar Skopje – Thüringer HC 29-21 (12-12)
Vardar: A. Lacrabere 7, J. Radicevic 6, P. Kuznetsova 5, A. Penezic 4, T. Khmyrova 3, B. Lazovic 2, D. Cvijic 2
Thüringer HC: I. Luzumova 6, B. Scheffknecht 4, A. Mazzucco 4, M. Schmelzer 4, L. Jakubisova 2, A. Niederwieser 1
Penalties: 4/2 ; 2/2
Suspensions: 4 minutes ; 4 minutes