In the fifth round of the regular season in SEHA – Gazprom League Group B, Tatran Presov managed to secure a 29:25 home win against Partizan Belgrade. Slovak champions have that way managed to level themselves in the group standings with Macedonian Vardar 1961 – both teams now have six points, while reigning Serbian runners-up have three.
It was an expectedly close match from the very beginning with the hosts being able to stay in control of the result throughout the bigger part of the encounter. The main reasons for that were Erik Fenar (7), Nikola Ivanovic (6), and Sergio Lopez (5) who were leading the hosts offensively in this one. Igor Chupryna finished the match with 13 saves.
Tatran managed to decide this one in the final 15 minutes, at one point widening the gap from 20:18 all the way to 29:22 following a 9:4 scoring series, again lead by the upper-mentioned trio. Until the very end of the game, guests from Serbia have only managed to narrow the goal difference down a bit, which actually might prove to be the key in this group, as two teams still have to meet in Belgrade in a week. Serbian representatives in the competition will at home, in front of their incredible fans, certainly look for a win that would level them up with Tatran Presov and Vardar 1961 in the standings. In that case, overall goal difference would once again decide the final standings.
Guests were in this one led by Nikola Zecevic who finished the match with five goals, while Uros Kojadinovic added four with three assists. Mladen Sotic went 4/4, while Andrej Trnavac finished the game with 12 saves.
The second leg between the two teams, and also the final match of the regular part of the SEHA – Gazprom League season will take place on March 27 in Belgrade.
Dario Krzelj, Partizan coach:
This was definitely one of our worst performances lately. We’ve missed so many clear shots, and committed way too many technical mistakes. A well-deserved win for Tatran in the end. We have a young, and inexperienced team which is dealing with a really rough schedule lately, and I feel like that was well-visible out there today.
Ivan Micic, Partizan player:
A really poor performance from our side. Every time we’d manage to narrow the gap, our turnovers and mistakes would kill us. We have to analyze this match, and learn from our mistakes as we’re hosting Tatran next Monday.
Marek Gernat, Tatran Presov coach:
Tough match for us. We did not enter the match the right way, but today we could really rely on Igor Chupryna between posts. In the second half our defense looked much better. I’m not happy about the way we’ve finished the match allowing Partizan to narrow the gap. We’ve got the second leg coming up in less than a week, in what will surely be an incredible atmosphere in Belgrade, and I really hope these bad few minutes at the end won’t prove to be costly for us.
Igor Chupryna, Tatran Presov goalkeeper:
It is obviously good we’ve managed to win this match, but we can’t be happy about those final 10 minutes. We were making childish mistakes that we can’t afford to do, allowing Partizan to narrow the gap. We are travelling to Belgrade in a week to fight for the best possible result.