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28 days ago - 3/25/2019

Pride in results and character feature in quotes of the week

We are halfway through the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16 and everything still has to be decided. While Vardar are in the strongest position to claim a quarter-final ticket, all the other teams can still dream of making to Cologne.

Here are the top three quotes after the thrilling first-leg Last 16 clashes:

3. Dejan Milosavljev, HC Vardar goalkeeper

“Big match for us; one that we’ve been preparing for throughout the full course of the season, because the eighth-finals is one of the steps towards the goal we set for ourselves as a team prior to the season.”

Dejan Milosavljev was elected Player of the Match in Zagreb, where Vardar beat the hosts – but his team do not want to stop there. They will have to fight to keep their advantage for the return leg. For now, however, the Serbian goalkeeper takes a moment to enjoy his team’s performance.

2. Petar Djordjic, HC Meshkov Brest left back

“It is good that we found the strength to respond to the top level of the opponent. Trust me: playing in the Bundesliga with a 100% point efficiency is a fantastic result, which seemed impossible until now. We are alive, and travel to Flensburg with hopes to give a fight and eventually advance further.”

Against his former teammates, Brest’s left back Petar Djordjic saw his current club struggle, being down by as much as eight goals. But the hosts of the first leg of the Last 16 found the strength to come back within two at the final buzzer, and still hope for qualification next weekend.

1. Hugo Canela, Sporting CP coach

“We’re going to do the best we can to keep dreaming. We dignified Portuguese handball and the name of Sporting Clube de Portugal.”

The Last 16 of the Champions League is a historic moment for Sporting. They threatened Veszprém for the whole 60 minutes of the first leg and, despite losing by two, still have a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals. That alone is something for coach Hugo Canela to be happy about.

Author: Kevin Domas / cg