Valcea back on trackArticle
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The Romanian champions showed another high class performance in front of 2,000 fans beating Lada Togliatti 35:26.

Valcea back on track

The problems of Lada started back home: due to heavy snow in Togliatti, Gumyanov's players were forced to find their way to Samara airport, 60 km away from Togliatti, on board of army vehicles. The nightmare continued for the Russians at the airport as they had to wait another 2 hours in order to take off.

Meirous was a key player of Valcea againDespite the fact Lada that arrived in Valcea at midnight before the game, the Russians started in better form and they were leading 2-1 after 3 minutes. Still, it was the last time when Togliatti were ahead. The Romanian champions were immediately back in the game: 4 goals in 3 minutes gave Valcea the lead, 5-2.

In this period, world champion Lyudmila Postnova reminded everyone why is she one of the most wanted players in the world. She brought Lada back into the game with spectacular long shots. Still, 4 goals of Olteanu and other 4 from Maier gave Valcea a mouth of fresh air. The Romanians ended the first half with a 4-goal advantage, 16-12.

3 consecutive goals gave Valcea more and more confidence at the start of the second half. These were the moments when the Togliatti stars remembered that they played the final last season. Mochalina scored twice and Postnova ensured a close game as Lada stroke back with 3 consecutive fastbreaks goals.

18 minutes to the end, Lada had even bigger hopes as they were only 3 goals behind Valcea. Still, this was the last time Togliatti endangered Valcea's victory. Thanks to a fantastic performance of the left back Adina Meirosu and some decisives blocks from goalkeeper Tereza Paslaru, the difference started to grow quickly and it was 11 just one minute before the end.

The final score was Valcea-Lada 35:26 and the Russians are close to losing their hopes for the semi-finals, while the Romanians can still dream of the only European trophy they miss: the Champions League.

Comments after the game

"This game proved that our draw in Nurnberg was a simple accident. Our team showed that we are still one of the best in Europe, so I really think that we can win this group. We just need to be focused and play as good as usual to finish on first place," said a very satisfied Valcea coach, Gheorghe Tadici.

"We tried our best today, but we were unable to cope with Oltchim. We made too many mistakes and the Romanians had no mercy. We lost a battle, but not the war. We still have good chances to reach the semi-finals this season," added Lada coach, Alexey Gumyanov.

Left back Meirosu, with 8 goals, Maier and Stanca with 7 were the best scorers of Valcea, while Postnova and Davydenko scored 6 each for Togliatti. The next trip of Valcea will be to Győr, while Lada will play against Nurnberg. This might be their last chance to reach the EHF Women's Champions League semi-finals this season.

TEXT: Emilian Voicu