Bietigheim, Kuban, Podravka win again
After Round 2 of the Women’s EHF Cup Group Phase, five teams have a 100 per cent record. Three of them – Bietigheim, Kuban and Podravka – claimed their second victories on Sunday.
- Storhamar vs Esbjerg produced the only draw so far
- Magura Cisnadie’s Jasna Boljevic scored more than half of her team’s goals (11)
- Magura Cisnadie, Sävehof, Larvik and Nykøbing are yet to claim their first points
Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN) 28:28 (14:15)
In-form Esbjerg had hoped for an away victory in the Nordic clash and led by five goals in the second half, but ultimately had to settle for a draw against Storhamar. After two matches, Esbjerg are on three points, while the Norwegian team has just one point.
Storhamar had a slight advantage in the first quarter of the game, but then Esbjerg grabbed the initiative and took a 15:14 lead at half-time.
Early in the second half, the visitors increased their advantage to 17:14, and later to 23:18. It looked like they were going to win, yet Storhamar’s strong 6:0 run helped the home side to turn the game around and claim a 24:23 lead.
Heidi Loke was unstoppable in this game, scoring 10 goals for Storhamar. The final minutes were extremely tight, and fortune might have smiled on either team.
Esbjerg’s coach Jesper Jensen took a time-out 27 seconds from the buzzer when the score stood at 28:28, but his team could not score from their last attack.
Sports Club Magura Cisnadie (ROU) vs SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) 20:34 (13:16)
It has been an unfortunate weekend for the Romanian teams playing in the Women’s EHF Cup. After the current title holders Craiova lost at Bera Bera by 11 goals, Magura Cisnaide suffered an even bigger defeat at home against Bietigheim.
The team from Cisnadie, founded in 2004 and playing their debut season in European club competitions, lacks the experience to be competitive at this level. Having opened the Group Phase with a 23-goal defeat at Esbjerg, they had another frustrating day in round 2.
Magura Cisnadie’s Jasna Boljevic scored 11 goals, more than half of her team’s tally, yet Bietigheim played much better as a unit. The German club dominated throughout the 60 minutes and deserved to win their second straight victory.
All 11 Bietigheim’s outfield players put their names on the scoresheet, with Antje Malestein being the best with eight goals.
Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN) vs IK Sävehof (SWE) 29:22 (15:9)
The second Nordic derby of the day took place in Denmark. Both Herning-Ikast and Sävehof had started the Group Phase with defeats, but now the Danish side grabbed their first points in the competition, winning by seven goals.
The home team’s playmaker Helene Fauske became a hero of the day, scoring 10 goals. The game was tight during most of the first half, but Herning-Ikast had an impressive run just before the break, moving the score from 10:9 to 15:9.
As it turned out later, that was a crucial phase of the game. After the break, Sävehof were unable to turn the game around, as the rivals just exchanged the goals for the most part.
With two points, Herning-Ikast are second in Group B behind Siófok, while Sävehof are yet to claim their first points.
“After two matches, everything is going according to plan. I guess that Siófok KC will take the first place in the group, but we haven't played against them at home, so everything is still open,” said Herning-Ikast’s coach Kristian Kristensen.
Kuban (RUS) vs Larvik HK (NOR) 32:26 (14:16)
Kuban claimed their second victory in Group C at home in Krasnodar. The defeat over Larvik means the Norwegian club are still without any points in the competition.
Ekaterina Barkalova and EHF EURO 2018 silver medalist Antonina Skorobatchenko led Kuban by example, and they ended up with eight goals each.
Larvik had a slow start, scoring just four goals before the 18th minute. However, then the visitors capitalised on Kuban’s mistakes, taking a 16:14 lead at the break.
Yet inspired by coach Evgenii Trefilov during the break, Kuban were dominant again in the second half, and they were up 26:20 midway through it. Larvik slashed the gap to three goals, but the home side did not panic and cruised to a six-goal win.
“During the break, we had to talk strictly with the team, and everything changed. Our goalkeeper played well, but there is no stability. The team is still raw, there are problems in defence,” Trefilov said.
His colleague from Larvik, Geir Oustorp, still believes in his team’s chances.
“We will now have two games with Besançon, and we will try to get the maximum points in them. I believe that Kuban will advance from the top place in the group, and we will fight for the second,” he said.
Nykøbing Falster Handbold – NFH (DEN) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) 24:28 (10:13)
Podravka are another team to keep a 100 per cent record after two rounds. Having beaten Bera Bera at home in the opening round, the Croatian side went on to snatch two points from Nykøbing and take the lead Group D.
Nykøbing, who had lost 18:12 to Craiova a week before, now did better in attack. However, 24 goals was not enough to get a positive result.
The 24-year-old line player Ana Debelic did a good job for Podravka, scoring eight times. Thanks to her impact, the visitors took control of the match in the first half and led by three goals at the break.
Throughout the second half, the Croatian champions succeeded in maintaining that advantage, ultimately clinching a 28:24 victory.Author: Sergey Nikolaev/jh