Friis and Fauske pave the way for Herning-Ikast, one Danish foot in last four
The quarter-final programme of the Women’s EHF Cup opened in Denmark earlier this evening with Herning-Ikast making a big step towards the last four, confidently beating Podravka in their first leg clash, 34:26.
- 34 goals is Herning-Ikast’s highest score this current season
- Youngsters Emma Friis and Helene Fauske scored 10 and nine goals respectively for Herning
- Alena Ikhneva was Podravka’s best scorer, with seven goals
- The second leg match will take place on Sunday 10 March in Koprivnica
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) 34:26 (17:12)
Following a balanced game in the opening five minutes, Herning-Ikast moved the score from 2:2 to 6:2 just two minutes later with the Danish defence working well, complemented by a string of fast-breaks and goals by left wing Emma Friis which gave them the upper hand.
After a time-out, Podravka stabilised the game, cutting the deficit to 9:7 by the 20th minute, but the competition's top-scorer Helene Fauske, as usual, did wonders in attack, helping Herning-Ikast to a five-goal lead (17:12) at the break.
The young pairing of Friis and Fauske continued to make an impact in the second half, helping their team pull clear at 22:13 (37th minute). However, Alena Ikhneva’s goals helped Podravka to fight back to 24:19 down within the next six minutes.
Yet the Danish side moved up the gears, looking to win by as many goals as possible and take as big a lead into the second leg a week on Sunday, and kept their dominant rhythm until the final buzzer.
The final score of 34:26 makes it look quite comfortable for Herning-Ikast ahead of that return leg in Croatia, and for Podravka, it will be hard to pull off a comeback – but anything can happen, and the Croatian side will be hoping to overcome an eight-goal deficit for a place in the semi-finals instead of the side from Denmark.