Road to the FinalArticle
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The decisive games of the Women's CL are coming up. It is time to go through the road of the two finalists from the group phase to the finals.

» »2006-07 Women's CL

Road to the Final

Russian Lada Togliatti will face Danish Slagelse DT in the final of the 2006/07 Women’s Champions League.

The two teams have already met twice in the Champions League, back in the group stage of season 2003/04 and 2005/06. The balance: Slagelse won three out of the four matches, while Lada won the last encounter of the two teams.

Strict defending against BuducnostThe finals are coming up; let’s see the road of the teams leading to the final.

The Road of Lada Togliatti

Group B

Group B promised some tough battles with Hungarian Győr, Norwegian Byasen and Montenegrin Buducnost.

Lada, however, played in a convincing style and collected all the victories necessary for clinching the first place of the group. Their only defeat was in Győr, last round of the group stage, when the first place was already secured.

Viborg HK A/S

All the teams paid special attention to Bliznova It was hard to imagine a more difficult opponent than the title holders of the Champions League, Viborg, who finished only second in their respective group. Lada played very well in Denmark. Louise Bager Due Danish goalkeeper admitted: “We were surprised by their pace and physical strength.”

The return leg brought a lot of excitement and a better performance on the Danish side. The first time Lada took the lead was in the last minute before the break. The rest of the game was just as close: the match was finally decided in the last minute with a Postnova goal – the playmaker scored 16 at the two games and she was decisive in the duel.

Hypo Niederösterreich

Sidorova saved the decisive penalty shotThe semi-final against Hypo was not any easier that the previous round, though the first leg promised a different story. After a six-goal victory in Russia, Lada travelled to Austria with confidence. They had all reason to be calm as they played really well at home with Marennikova scoring nine.

There were no major problems for Alexey Gumyanov’s team in the first half of the return game, but Hypo played very well after the break. The Austrians almost made a surprise. At a six-goal Hypo lead, the hosts were awarded an overtime 7-metre shot that would have taken them to the final. Hypo player Alina Marin assumed the responsibility, but Sidorova saved the penalty and Lada clinched the final.

The Road of Slagelse DT

HB Metz Moselle Lorraine

The two-time Champions League winner Danish side started the season with qualification matches against French Metz. The aggregate victory by 14 goals suggests that it was an easy opponent, but only judging from the roster of Metz – Wendling, Pradel and Kamto Nijtam – Slagelse had to do a lot for the good results.

Group D

The unsuccessful Hypo gameSlagelse joined Austrian Hypo, Hungarian FTC and Macedonian Kometal in Group D. In theory, Slagelse should have qualified easily for the quarterfinals, but the Danes were still not in their top form.

The first match was already a huge surprise: Hypo won in Denmark by three. Despite Kamilla Kristensen’s statement after this defeat (“Our objective is to win every match and we want to finish on top of the group”), Slagelse were very far from top spot. Hypo have beaten them in Austria, in addition, the team of Anja Andersen lost the last game against FTC as well.

Two things were already to be seen: despite the three defeats, Slagelse received the lowest number of goals in the Champions League group stage (only 143 in 6 games, less than 24 goals per match) – their defence was already working well – and Bojana Popovic was already scoring in great form.

Krim Mercator Ljubjana

Popovic scored 24 against KrimThough Popovic had many good matches this season, those against Krim were probably her best ones. She scored 24(!) in the two games, which was made possible by Carmen Lungu as well.

“Carmen Lungu was so successful today. She took a lot of pressure off Bojana Popovic,” said Slagelse pivot Metter Melgaard after the match.

The second leg was no problem for Slagelse either. They won by two in Ljubjana and reached the semi-final easily.

Győri Audi ETO KC

It was easier against Győr than the photo would suggest...Slagelse played against the Hungarian champion for the final. The first match was in Denmark and Slagelse could have decided the matter on home court already. Popovic&Co were leading by nine goals not much before the end, but Slagelse had to be satisfied with a six-goal lead before the second leg.

“An empty feeling,” said Peter Bruun Jorgensen, assistant coach of the Danish side. He didn’t have to wait too much for a comfortable feeling as Slagelse were leading by five in Hungary at halftime already.

Who knows if they will celebrate again after the finalThe key of the success was defending again – according to the assistant coach: “We were ready from the start, particularly in defence. It decided the match together with Cecilie Leganger in our goal,” explained Jorgensen.

The assistant coach added: “Two great matches are waiting for Slagelse in the final against Lada Togliatti.”

We couldn’t ask for more…