Viborg make strong comeback in Scandinavian derby
Round 5 of the Women’s EHF Cup Group Phase opened with two matches on Saturday, both of which were won by the home sides. In Group B, TusSies Metzingen, who had already lost the chance to reach the next stage, claimed a consolation win, 29:22, against IK Sävehof. Viborg HK kept their 100 per cent record in Group C thanks to a hard-fought victory, 26:23, against Larvik HK.
Metzingen ended a three-match losing run
Metzingen’s Ewgenija Minevskaja scored 10 goals against Sävehof
Viborg won their 11thstraight match in the current competition
TusSies Metzingen (GER) vs IK Sävehof (SWE) 29:22 (18:10)
With two matches to go, both teams had already lost the chance to make it to the quarter-finals, yet each of them hoped for a win to end a losing streak. Seen as favourites in this match, Metzingen comfortably took two points and are now certain to finish third in the group, while Sävehof are doomed to stay bottom.
Ewgenija Minevskaja was Metzingen’s driving force in the first half, as she scored nine goals, including five from penalty shots. The ‘pink ladies’ took an early 3:1 lead before Sävehof drew level at 5:5, but then the home side created a clear advantage and cruised to an eight-goal lead at the break.
The Swedish champions, who were eager to claim their first points in the competition, fought hard after the break and cut the deficit to 23:19 in the middle of the second half. Metzingen did not panic, and although Minevskaja added just one goal to her tally, her team had a confident finish and won 29:22.
Viborg HK (DEN) vs Larvik HK (NOR) 26:23 (11:17)
The Danish team’s win was good news for Kuban, who will play Besancon on Sunday. Now even a home draw will see the Russian side booking their quarter-final ticket.
Viborg had secured their progression in the previous round, and nothing could move the Danish team from the top position in Group C. Perhaps it was this situation that led to their complacency in the first half of the Scandinavian derby – last-placed Larvik, who were still in the fight for the second quarter-final berth, looked much more focused.
Viborg’s coach Jakob Vestergaard decided to experiment in this game, changing the defence to 5-1 and giving 20-year-old goalkeeper Josephine Olsen a place in the starting line-up. However, the defensive changes did not work well, as Larvik scored as many as 17 goals before the break.
The second half was completely different. Viborg returned to their usual 6-0 system, brought experienced Rikke Poulsen into goal and started to catch up. Led by Moa Högdahl, who finished with six goals, the Danish team drew level at 23:23 and went on to claim their 11thwin in 11 Women’s EHF Cup games this season. Their rivals were left with virtually no chance of reaching the knock-out stage.Author: Sergey Nikolaev / cg