Podravka’s speed proves too much for Cisnadie
Playing at a different level in attack and defence, HC Podravka Vegeta easily kept two points at home and secured their first win in the Women’s EHF Cup group phase against last season’s newcomers, Magura Cisnadie.
Meanwhile, in Sunday's other group B match, with tough defence and accurate, agile attack, Siófok KC Hungary scored their first triumph over Kobenhavn Handball.
- Podravka's Dejana Milosavljevic finished with 10 goals – and their shot effciency was an incredible 70 per cent
- Cisnadie are still looking for their first win in the EHF Cup after seven games
- Nerea Pena netted 11 times for Siófok and produced numerous assists
- Mia Rej scored seven goals for Kobenhavn, who did not score in the final 10 minutes
HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Magura Cisnadie (ROU) 38:26 (18:12)
After elimination from the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League, the Croatian champions began their first game in the EHF Cup 2019/20 at a high tempo, which seemed to be the best solution against the experienced but slow-footed Cisnadie.
The Romanian side kept up with the pace at the beginning, although Alexandru Weber’s squad did not have an answer to Dejana Milosavljevic from Podravka, who netted eight times in the first half alone.
The speed difference was significant as half-time approached, and the gap increased further in the opening minutes of the second half.
Cisnadie’s two leaders in scoring were newcomer Dijana Ujkic and the 36-year-old back Ada Moldovan. However, the team’s defence did not work so well.
With multiple saves from Podravka’s goalkeeper, Magdalena Ecimovic, and many turnovers from the away side, the hosts turned plenty of fast breaks into goals.
The result was known when Podravka's lead reached 12 goals 15 minutes before the final whistle.
Podravka started their EHF Cup campaign with two points, while Cisnadie are still looking for their first win in this competition.
Podravka coach Zlatko Saracevic mentioned the importance of finding rhythm.
He said: "We had some problems in the beginning of the game but then we started playing in a rhythm that we like. We did a lot of rotations and I wanted to give all my players chance to play.
"We conceded more goals in the second half than I would like, but this was a good win to start the EHF Cup."
Siófok KC Hungary (HUN) vs Kobenhavn Handball (DEN) 36:23 (17:13)
The title-holders’ world-class defence and goalkeeper Melinda Szikora’s 46 per cent save percentage in the first 20 minutes made an early statement for Siófok against Kobenhavn.
Kobenhavn struggled to score in the first half, suffering two scoreless runs of more than five minutes, as only captain Mia Rej proved a continuous threat to the home team’s goal.
On the other side of the court, Katarina Jezic was unstoppable for the hosts and Spanish centre back Nerea Pena added multiple assists.
The scenario did not change in the second half. Kobenhavn did not score in another six-minute period, allowing Siófok to extend their lead to 23:16 as they ruthlessly took advantage of the Danish side's mistakes.
The Hungarian team's 7:0 run in the last 10 minutes sealed a 36:23 victory, which is the first step in their quest to create history by winning back-to-back Women’s EHF Cup titles.
In round 2 the title-holders visit Magura Cisnadie, while Kobenhavn host Podravka.Author: Bela Muller / at