Slagelse Heading for the Semi-finalsArticle
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Krim Ljubjana suffered a seven-goal defeat in Denmark that may be very difficult to equalise on home court. Popovic (pictured) scored 13 goals.

Slagelse Heading for the Semi-finals

Slagelse DT, Champions League winners of 2004 and 2005, have very good chances to qualify for the semi-finals. Slagelse won the first leg against Slovenian champions Krim Mercator Ljubljana 30-23 at home in Antvorskovhallen. It will be a great challenge for Robert Begus and his team to equalise the seven-goal difference in the Slovenian capital on Saturday night.

Equal start

The teams were equal at the beginning of the intense match. Krim scored the first goal in front of some 1936 spectators – 150 of them arrived from Slovenia. After that it was Slagelse’s turn to retain a one-goal lead. Later on around the 15th minute, the Danes managed to increase the gap.

A strong Cecilie Leganger – former Krim keeper - in the Slagelse goal and fine performances from Bojana Popovic and Carmen Lungu in attack gave Slagelse a three-goal lead at 11-8 and 12-9. At halftime it was 15-12 for the home team.

Slagelse opened the second half in convincing style. They rarely played this well this season. The hosts could therefore increase their lead further to 17-12, 18-13, 19-14 and even 22-15. A team time-out called by Robert Begus did not help a lot and Slagelse got 8 goals up at 30-22. The match ended 30-23.

Krim had too few players to threaten Slagelse this day. It was only left winger Tatjana Oder, the pivot Ludmilla Bodnieva and right back Anja Freser who played at their usual level. Former Slagelse player, Freser, was the only one who could score from the distance.

Slagelse joy – disappointment for Krim

“This was a really intensive match that we might have been able to win by even more goals. However, a seven-goal victory is okay for us and we proved that we can endure Krim’s enormous physical strength,” said Slagelse’s assistant coach Peter Bruun Jørgensen.

Danish pivot, Metter Melgaard praises Ludmilla Bodnieva. She says that the Russian pivot was the only real threat from the opponent.

“We had a lot of trouble with Bodnieva and for a certain period also with Anja Freser. I am happy, though that we gained such a big victory and it was also positive to see Carmen Lungu so successful today. She took a lot of pressure off Bojana Popovic,” Melgaard said.

Krim´s former Slagelse player, Anja Freser was understandably disappointed:

“Our defence was definitely not good enough today, while our attacking play was really all right. But we did absolutely not expect a seven-goal defeat in advance,” Freser said.

"Bojana Popovic had too much space,” Freser added. “We lost many balls in attack and they took advantage of this scoring easy goals.”

Tanja  Oder was also critical:

“We did not stick to the instructions of the coach. We wanted to stop their best player but we were too soft. Now we have to analyse everything. There’s nothing else to do than to play the return game.”

Bojana Popovic scored no less than 13 goals for Slagelse, while Ukrainian right winger Olena Yatsenko became Krim’s top scorer with 5 goals.

TEXT: Peter Bruun and Maja Mastnak