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06.10.2008, 12:13◄ last page     

The Croatians played a superb tournament in Estella and secured their place in the CL.

Podravka join the elite

Podravka Vegeta proved over the weekend that the Croatians were really the clear favourites to reach the group phase of the Champions League. Spanish Itxako and German Leipzig fought for the place, but the Croatians showed how strong a team they are. The Greek Patras were not on the same level as the other three clubs and did not have a chance to qualify.

Zovko led his team to the CL againPodravka Vegeta did not lose a game at the tournament and passed all the obstacles convincingly.

In fact, Itxako were not from beating the Croatians in the first game, but the Spanish team could not bear the pressure in the final and decisive moments of the game. Penezic and Franic were top scorers at that game with six goals, but more importantly, the Croatians put up a very solid defence. The hosts lost all their chances to qualify already on the first day.

Leipzig were the second step for Podravka Vegeta. This game was less complicated for the Croatians. Penezic kept on playing on the level that she showed a day before and Gace added to her good performance with eight goals.

Podravka, based on the Croatian national team, form a really experienced squad. The Croatians have beaten the Greek Patras on the last day without any difficulty and closed a perfect tournament with three triumphs.

Zovko’s team reached their objective and they will play in the CL next season. This will not be an easy march for them with the Romanian Oltchim Valcea, the Russian Lada and the Norwegian Larvik waiting for them.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goni

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