Slagelse Take CL Trophy BackArticle
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The Trophy returns to Anja Andersen's team after 2004 and 2005. Slagelse played a marvellous game and won 32-24 in front of an enthusiastic home crowd in Brondby Hallen.

Slagelse Take CL Trophy Back

"Our Champions League trophy is back again," this text figured on the golden T-shirts that the Slagelse players received after the end of the second leg of their Champions League final won against Russian Lada Togliatti. And the trophy returns to Slagelse, after 2004 and 2005 and after last year’s Viborg HK success.

The first leg ended 29-29 in Togliatti after a well played and dramatic game, but Slagelse left no doubt in the return match. The Danes won 32-24 with a simply breathtaking performance and the aggregate result is 61-53 for Slagelse.

Fantastic support for Slagelse

Unique atmosphere in Brondby HallenThe match was played in an environment worthy of a Champions League final. 5316 spectators filled Brøndby Hallen. As no Lada fans took the long trip from East Russia to the Danish capital, the support for Slagelse was unanimous.

And what a support! Through most of the match the noise was as deafening as you usually only find it on home grounds of male teams such as Hungarian MKB Veszprém or Slovenian Celje Pivovarna Lasko!

And Slagelse rewarded their many fans for their massive support from the start. After only three and a half minutes the Danes were leading 3-0. The home team continued in that style for practically the rest of the first half. A team time-out called by Lada coach Alexey Gumyanov at 6-1 after 6 minutes and 56 seconds did not help the visitors much against the Slagelse dominance due to several factors.

One of these was Slagelse’s extremely strong defence, the other was Cecilie Leganger. The experienced Norwegian goalkeeper proved once again why so many people consider her to be the World’s best goalkeeper today. Leganger made one of the finest performances in her already glorious career: her many saves combined with Slagelse’s strong defence with Mette Melgaard, Anne Loft, Line Hovgaard and Kamilla Kristensen allowed the hosts to score many goals on counter-attacks. 

Lungu played a fantastic gameThere were two more reasons for Slagelse’s dominance in the first half: the attacking performance of Bojana Popovic and Carmen Lungu. Though the Serbian star did not score as many goals as she did in the first match, her elegant passes helped the others to score many goals.

It was obvious from the start that Carmen Lungu was especially motivated after missing the first match. Apart from fighting well she become her team’s top scorer with 7 goals.

Slagelse’s Montenegrin winger, Maja Savic, was reported fit from the leg injury she picked up the first match, but she didn’t play too much after all. Line Hovgaard proved to be an excellent replacement, scoring 6 goals on top of her efforts in defence.

Quick eight-goal lead 

Driven by the enthusiastic crowd Slagelse increased their lead by 8-1 and by 11-3 very quickly and although Lada managed to score four goals in a row, reducing the distance to 11-7, Slagelse were eight goals up again and were leading 16-8 at half time. The job of the Lada girls was just more difficult when one of their most important players, Nanezda Muravyeva, was sent off with a direct red card after 24 minutes and 52 seconds.

"Now we have won the first half – we want to win one more," Slagelse´s assistant coach Peter Bruun Jørgensen told Danish TV before the start of the second half. In fact, Slagelse did not win “one more”, but the 16-16 of the second half did not bother anyone in Denmark…

Slagelse seemed to simply run over Lada after the break and they were leading 17-8, 19-9, 22-11, and 23-12 as well. However, Lada have to be given credit for never giving up, even when things looked hopeless. The Russian players, who almost looked scared of the Slagelse defence and goalkeeper Cecilie Leganger – especially in the fist half – were fighting hard to avoid a complete disaster.

They were successful in it as they managed to come closer at the end to eight goals, as they were behind at half time. The home crowd rewarded their efforts with applause as they left the court.

And of course the applause was much louder when Champions League top scorer Bojana Popovic received the huge Champions League trophy from EHF President Tor Lian and passed it on to all her team mates to start celebrating their third Champions League win in four years.

As mentioned above, Carmen Lungu became Slagelse’s top scorer with 7 goals, while Lada’s pivot Ludmilla Mochalina scored 7 as well.

TEXT: Peter Bruun