Danish dominance comes to an endArticle
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New country will celebrate in the Women's CL after four Danish titles: Viborg lose 37:32 in Russia and Zvenigorod Zvezda qualify for the semi-finals on second place.

Danish dominance comes to an end

The Danish dominance in the Women’s CL has come to an end – at least for a while. After four Danish CL victories in a row, there will be no fifth for sure.

Zvezda took the second place of the groupAlready a couple of weeks ago, Slagelse DT lost their chance to go on from the Main Round, but this Sunday the CL winner of 2006, Viborg HK, lost their last chance to qualify as well.

Viborg suffered a 37-32 away defeat against Zvezda Zvenigorod. This result means that Zvezda will proceed from Group 2 together with Hypo Niederösterreich. The Austrians are already sure to win the group. Zvezda will meet Group 1 winners, Győr from Hungary, in the semi-finals. The match between the two Danish teams, Viborg and Slagelse, will have not much at stake on Sunday.

Viborg leading

Zvezda Zvenigorod started the match better on the Sunday afternoon in front of 2.500 spectators in Chekhov, Russia. The team of Evgenyi Trefilolov soon got 2 -0 ahead and although the guests equalised at 2-2, the home side remained one goal up until 9-8 in the middle of the first half. From then on, however, Viborg slowly took the initiative over and took a 9-10 lead. The Danes had the upper hand for the rest of the first half. Viborg were two goals ahead at 13-15 and kept this two-goal lead until 17-19 shortly before the break, but two quick Zvezda goals made it 19-19 for halftime.

Five decisive minutes

It may be too much to say that the first five minutes of the second half decided the match. Zvezda for sure got a fantastic start after the break, scoring the first four goals and getting a 23-19 lead. They benefitted from technical mistakes made by Viborg. It took five minutes for Viborg in the second half to score their first goal when Bojana Popovic reduced the gap to 23-20.

Viborg managed to get back into the game once again and reduce the distance to only one goal at 28-27 and 29-28. Viborg would have been happy with this at the end of the game as they won the first match at home by 31-29. With a one-goal defeat they would still have a chance to qualify for the semi-finals. A two goal defeat would also have been acceptable for Viborg if they score more than 29 goals.

Zvezda: stronger nerves

However, the ambitious Viborg team – often described as the best women’s team for years or ever – did not make it. At the end Zvezda proved to be a better team on the day and also the team with the better nerves. The hosts got six goals up at 36-30 and the matter was decided.

Elena Polenova was Zvezda Zvenigorod’s top scorer with 9 goals, while Norwegian right winger, Ida Bjørndalen, playing her best match for Viborg so far, scored 7.

TEXT: Peter Bruun