If you missed this match, you just missed one of the greatest handball matches ever. It isn’t because the Macedonian champs beat the mighty Barcelona, but because the match was played tit for tat to the last second. Just incredible, no other words to describe what was happening.
After the Spaniards took a 3 goal lead (5-8), Vardar tied it up four minutes later at 8-8. Since then, the entire match was played goal for goal, with terrific goalkeeping on both sides.
Dujshebaev and Chupic were spectacular with 7 goals each for Vardar. As irony would have it, Macedonian talisman Kiril Lazarov was the best player in Barcelona, netting 6 goals. He kept Barca in the match as he scored the last three goals for his team.
Vardar took a narrow 13-12 lead going into half time.
The second half continued in the same dynamic. Tit for tat. Goal on one side, followed by a goal for the other side. With nearly a 1000 Macedonian fans in Koln, Germany, some have paid 350 euros for tickets, in the end it was well worth it.
Lazarov again scored for Barca tying the score at 25-25. With 20 seconds to go, Gonzalez called for a time out. This was it, it’s do or die. With three seconds remaining, Luka Cindrich scored the goal of the match, sending Macedonian fans and the Irish broadcaster into raptures. The mighty Barca had fallen.
Vardar will now face off for the European crown against PSG, a very strong French team who earlier defeated Hungarian champ Veszprem 27-26.