Kukic lifts Dinamo closer to the play-offs
Dinamo Bururesti made a huge step towards the Machineseeker EHF Champions League play-offs on Thursday. By beating their “ranking neighbours” Orlen Wisla Plock, direct opponents for a spot among the best six of their group, the Romanian champions took their third win in four matches.
The match winner was young Serbian centre back Lazar Kukic, whose goals and assists proved decisive in helping Dinamo to victory.
- Dinamo had small advantages in the equal first half. While they never trailed Plock, their biggest advantage was three goals at 12:9
- the hosts lost their Croatian defence specialist Ante Kuduz right on the half-time buzzer with a red card after his third suspension
- on the other hand, another Croat, Tin Lucin, was on fire for Plock, scoring four of his eight goals before the break. By the end of the match he was the overall top scorer
- until the score of 25:24 in minute 49, the match was on the edge, then Serbian youngster Lazar Kukic put the pedal to the metal – in attack, he was the key for the decisive 6:2 run for the hosts
- when Kukic struck for the seventh and last time for a 30:26 lead the deal was sealed
Dinamo on new heights
After seven group matches of the EHF Champions League 2021/22 season, the first year with Xavi Pascual as their head coach, Dinamo Bucuresti had four points on their account – and in the end, just missed the play-offs.
This season, the Romanian champions are much more stable, have gained experience in the European top-flight competition, have bolstered their squad – and have seven points on their account, only one point less than the whole 2021/22 group phase.
The defence became the key, with the signing of Egyptian left back Ali Zein. In contrast to recent years, Dinamo manage to come back when they are down, like against Zagreb. Thursday’s match against Plock shows they are definitely play-off candidates.
We had a plan for the game and think we resolved some situations regarding the defence. Today we deserved the result. I am very happy for my players. Our fans helped us a lot. It was very easy for us to play at home.
In the first half things were very equal. I think that the attack was different than the defence, for both sides. In the second half we didn't start well. We had some mistakes. They took advantage of this before us. Our team reacted really well, but in the last 10 to 15 minutes the Dinamo players were better.