10.02.2018, 20:21◄ last page     

DAY REVIEW: Victories against their Nordic rivals see Vipers and Viborg claim two of the Women’s EHF Cup Quarter-final berths

Vipers and Viborg through after wins in Scandinavian derbies

Four Women’s EHF Cup quarter-finalists had been determined before Round 6 began, and two additional teams to progress were named on Saturday.

In Group B, Vipers Kristiansand qualified following their win against Koebenhavn Haandbold and Issy Paris Hand’s defeat to Handball Club Lada, while in Group C, Viborg HK secured their place thanks to a home win against Byasen Handball Elite.

• Lada claim fifth win in six group matches
• Daria Dmitrieva seizes first place on the top-scorer list with nine goals against Issy
• Vipers make it three straight wins after as many defeats to begin their campaign
• Both Group A quarter-finalists will be named on Sunday

Handball Club Lada (RUS) vs Issy Paris Hand (FRA) 25:24 (13:13)

Lada were the only team in the competition to have secured first place in the group before the last round of matches. However, the Russian side looked as motivated as ever, as they claimed their fifth win in six group games.

Lada’s captain Daria Dmitrieva had another superb game and contributed to the victory with nine goals, which moved her to the top of the competition’s scoring chart with 46 – four more than Serpil Iskenderoglu from Kastamonu.

Issy were second in the group before travelling to Togliatti, so an away victory would have secured them a quarter-final spot. However, that proved to be an impossible mission for the French side.

The visitors fought hard during what was a nervous match, yet they came up short in the closing minutes and, as it turned out a few hours later, the defeat in Russia meant elimination for Issy.

Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs Koebenhavn Haandbold (DEN) 30:23 (11:12)

The Norwegian team entered the match knowing that even a draw would be enough for a quarter-final berth, as Vipers had an advantage over Issy in head-to-head results.

However, the home side showed they had no intention of splitting the points, claiming a seven-goal win despite struggling in the first half, and finishing second in Group B.

Following their elimination from the EHF Champions League, Vipers had a disappointing start in the EHF Cup, losing three matches in a row. However, they pulled off a small miracle by winning all three remaining games and advancing to the next round.

Before Saturday’s clash, Koebenhavn had no chance of progression, but they could climb to third place in case of a victory and therefore fought hard for a long time. However, thanks to the impact of Kari Skaar Brattset, who finished the game with 10 goals, Vipers were unstoppable after the break.

Viborg HK (DEN) vs Byasen Handball Elite (NOR) 29:26 (16:16)

In Group C, Kastamonu had already secured first place, while the second quarter-finalists were to be determined in the direct duel between Viborg and Byasen.

Both Scandinavian teams were level on six points prior to their clash, though Viborg had an advantage as even a draw would have seen them progress based on head-to-head results. In the end, Viborg claimed two points on their home court, becoming the only Danish team to advance from the group, as both Randers and Koebenhavn were eliminated.

The score stood at 16:16 at the interval, before Viborg goalkeeper Rikke Poulsen made some great saves early in the second half and helped the hosts to pull clear at 21:18.

While Byasen tried to come back right to the end, the Norwegian side did not reach their goal and were forced to say goodbye to the competition.

H 65 Höörs HK (SWE) vs H.C. Zalau (ROU) 30:19 (15:8)

The Swedish team had lost their chance to qualify for the quarter-finals in their previous group match, but Höör managed to bid farewell on a high note as they beat Zalau by as many as 11 goals. Höör therefore finish third in Group D, and while their three wins in six matches were not enough for a quarter-final place, the Scandinavian outfit left a decent impression overall.

Zalau entered this match as group leaders with four straight victories under their belt. However, they could not perform as well as in the previous games and were overrun by the home team.

11 players scored for Höörs, with Mikaela Mässing  topping the list with seven goals. The Swedish team dominated throughout the game, and their victory was settled long before the final buzzer.

Larvik (NOR) vs DHK Banik Most (CZE) 34:29 (16:17)

Following Zalau’s setback in Sweden, Larvik used the opportunity to reclaim first position in Group D, defeating Banik at home.

Even a draw would have put the Norwegian side above Zalau based on head-to-head results, but the hosts won after a hard-fought match and finished the group stage with one point more than their Romanian rivals.

Banik, who were determined to claim their maiden victory in the group, led at half-time and for a while in the second half, but, like in many previous games, did not have enough power for 60 minutes and ended the group stage with just one point.

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / cg

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