Ikast back in the CLArticle
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The Danish side reach the Women's CL from QT Group 3 after a clear victory over Brasov.

»EHF CL Channel »2008-09 Women's News

Ikast back in the CL

Ikast/Brande EH can prepare for the group stage of the EHF Women’s Champions League for the first time since 2004. The Danish team secured their place with three clear wins in Group 3 of QT 2 on home court.

Ikast/Brande EH and BS Lublin opened the group on Friday in the Lindhallen of Herning. The hosts soon took a 4-0 lead in front of a full house. Ikast were already leading by 20-14 at half time and this lead grew steadily (24-14, 39-25 and 42-28) before last season’s number two in Denmark won by 13 goals, 44-31.

Mette Sjøberg scored 9 goals for Ikast, while Dorota Malchewska scored 7 for Lubin.

After this match the Romanian champions Urban Rulmetul Brasov met the Slovak SKP Bratislava and after a relatively modest Brasov lead (14-11 at half time), the Romanians increased the distance in the second half and won by 9 at the end, 30-21.

On Saturday in Brandehallen, Ikast and Bratislava played the first match, with the Slovaks in need of a win in order to keep their dreams of the group stage alive. And SKP actually started better, leading 6-4 after ten minutes. Ikast then managed to get back into the game and at half time the hosts established a three-goal lead at 18-15. After an equal start in the second half, Ikast managed to increase their lead to eight goals before they finally won by nine – 38-29. The Norwegian international Katja Nyberg scored 9 goals for Ikast, Petra Benuskova scored no less than 12 for Bratislava.

After this match Brasov made sure that there would be a real group final between them and Ikast on Sunday as the Romanian champions defeated BS Lublin by 42-37.

Group final

These results made the first place and thereby the qualification for the group stage, a matter to be decided in the direct encounter between Ikast and Brasov on Sunday. After Lublin and Bratislava drew 30-30 in a match without real importance, Ikast and Brasov began their final in front of 832 fans in Ikast/Brande Arena. After most of the first was equal, Ikast started to take advantage from the Romanians towards the end of the first half changing a narrow 19-18 lead to 23-18 at half time and 25-18 early in the second half. From then on, there was no doubt about the Ikast win – ten goals at the end, 45-35.

The Norwegian pivot Isabel Blanco scored 11 goals for Ikast, while Ionela Stanca scored 9 for Brasov. The Romanians will now continue in the EHF Cup.

“I am just so satisfied with this! Since the first minute of the first match against Lublin it was obvious that the players really wanted the success. I’m really impressed that we got so far with the team already,” Ikast/Brande’s coach Kenneth Jensen said after securing the Group Phase.

As Viborg HK are directly qualified and FCK Håndbold also got through on Sunday, Denmark will be represented by three teams in the Women’s Champions League this season.

TEXT: Peter Bruun