Wommen's summary: Round 4Article
«Go back

The tension rises in the Women’s Champions League: after four rounds no team remain unbeaten. Read the news of the weekend.

»EHF CL Channel »2008-09 Women's News

Wommen's summary: Round 4

The tension rises in the Women’s Champions League: after four rounds no team remain unbeaten. Hypo and Ikast lost their first matches and no team is qualified from any of the groups after four matches.

Title holder Zvezda are in trouble with another defeat: now they need a miracle to go on.

Group A
Kometal Skopje – Zvezda Zvenigorod 28:22 (18:12)
Ikast Brande – Győri Audi ETO 26:27 (13:16)

Kometal celebrated their first victoryGyőr and Kometal make Group A a tense competition:by beating Ikast, the Hungarians have the same number of points as the Danes (6). The Russian Zvezda need a miracle to qualify for the main round as they lost in Skopje and remain with two points on their account.

After winning all three matches in 2008, Ikast suffered their first defeat this season – on home court against Győr. The Hungarians, led by Tomori (nine goals) and Vérten (7), have overcome Ikast despite a good performance of Gro Hammerseng who scored seven times.

Győr started well and were leading all the time with a comfortable margin. Ikast came closer only at 18:20.

The Hungarians lost the first match at home by 25:27, so their one-goal victory on Saturday means that Ikast have a better direct encounter, which may be important at the end of the group stage.

The good news for Ikast came from outside the court: it was announced that German goalkeeper Sabine Englert will join the Danish club next season.

Skopje took their last chance for the main round by beating Zvezda – surprisingly clearly. The Macedonians were in the lead for 60 minutes as Zvezda had injury problems before the match – the only consolation for the Russians can be the fact that they won the direct encounter against Skopje with a difference of two goals.

Group B
Buducnost T-Mobile – Hypo Niederösterreich 26:25 (13:17)
FC Kopenhagen – Elda Prestigio 28:19 (12:7)

FCK overcame Elda convincinglyEverything is still possible as Buducnost beat Hypo and FCK beat Elda. The Austrians (6) are leading only by one point over FCK and Buducnost who both have five points on their account.

More than 4 500 spectators in a sold out hall in Podgorica celebrated a sensational victory of the home team against last season’s finalist Hypo Niederösterreich. The Austrians lost their first match this season. Even as Hypo goalkeeper Englert showed a brilliant performance – especially in the first half – the Montenegrin Knezevic and Lazovic led Buducnost to a last-minute-victory.

Hypo started better with a 14:8 lead. At 19:19 the fans went crazy when Podgorica took the lead for the first time at 20:19. In a tense final stage both teams were equal, but Buducnost won 26:25 as goalkeeper Barjaktarović saved a decisive shot.

The best scorers were Radovic (8) and Tóth (5). Buducnost are only one point away from Hypo and still have good chances to go on to the next CL stage.

It was a special match for Copenhagen as they clinched their first ever home victory in the Champions League after a defeat and a draw this season.

FCK started well with an early 8:1 and kept the distance from the Spanish team until the end. The Danish club took the two points very easily as Elda played rather badly. Even as FCK playmaker Maren Baumbach couldn’t play due to a shoulder injury, the hosts went away very quickly.

Elda scored only seven times before the break and it was obvious that FCK played much more effectively, especially in defence.

The best FCK scorer was Ana Batinic with seven goals.

“This clear victory was important for our confidence as we lost matches away,” FCK coach Anja Andersen said.

The game against Hypo will be decisive next weekend.

Group C
Podravka Koprivnica – Larvik HK 32:27 (11:14)
Oltchim Valcea – HC Lada 30:19 (13:9)

Podravka and Valcea are closer to the Main RoundNot even the 19 saves of an outstanding Lene Rantala and the 13 goals of the European champion Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth were enough for Larvik in Croatia.

After the second defeat of the Norwegians, Larvik and Koprivnica have the same number of points (4). Both teams were missing key players, but the guests were leading with a five goal difference already.

It took 41 minutes for the Croatians to equalise and after 17:17 they took the lead. Five minutes before the end the match was decided at 25:20. Larvik missed Tonje Larsen and gave up as Koprivnica went away to 30:23.

By beating Larvik, Koprivnica secured the third position on the table and they will qualify at least got the Cup Winners’ Cup.

Podravka coach, Zdravko Zovko, hopes to clinch more victories: “This success worth nothing if we can’t play with more continuity. We need more points to go on in the Champions League.”

Sunday brought a surprisingly easy victory for Valcea. Lada still misses top players such as Marennikova, Sidorova, Bliznova and Postnova due to injuries and the Russian champions didn’t have a chance in Romania. The hosts were in the lead for 60 minutes and increased the gap from four goals at half-time to comfortable eleven goals at the end.

Meirosu scored seven for Valcea, Davydenko six times four Lada. The Russians (2 points) need two victories from the last two matches to have a chance. Valcea are in top position in Group C with six points.

“I’m very satisfied with the way we played,” Valcea coach Ivica Rimanic said. “We are not qualified for the main round with this victory, we need one more success and I hope we’ll win in Norway next week,” he added.

Lada coach Alexej Gumjanov said:

“We have a big potential, but due to the injuries we can’t play better right now.”

Group D
1. FC Nürnberg – Viborg HK 28:42 (16:23)
HB Metz – Krim Ljubljana 29:33 (12:18)

Marta Bon's team is back in formFourth defeat for Nürnberg, third victory for Viborg: like in the first match in Denmark, German international Grit Jurack was – together with Nürnberg’s Ania Rösler – the best player on court. She scored 10 times for Viborg and the Danes didn’t have problems with the German champions as Nürnberg didn’t have enough alternatives on the bench.

Even the record crowd of more than 4 000 spectators couldn’t help the home team. Viborg played on full speed for 60 minutes and decided the match very early and easily. Viborg took an early 15:7 lead and Nürnberg could reduce the gap only to six goals in the beginning of the second half.

Viborg won by 14 goals at the end and the Danes only need one more victory to qualify for the main round, as Nürnberg are out of the race. The best scorers were Jurack (10) and Popovic (7) for Viborg and Rösler (11) for Nürnberg.

Ljubljana have the best chances to go on as Metz missed the “match ball” against the Slovenians. 4 300 spectators in Metz couldn’t believe how well Krim played in the first half.

Led by pivot Liudmila Bodnieva, Ljubljana showed outstanding 30 minutes and took a 18:12 lead. After 21:12 in the 33rd minute, Metz started to catch up with the goals of Ognjenovic, Piéjos and Kysucsanova.

“We played brilliantly, but in the end we missed the great chance to win the direct encounter against Metz,” Krim’s captain Spela Cerar said. Metz won in Ljubljana by 31:26.

The best scorers were Ognjenovic, Piéjos with each eight goals for the French champions and Lekic with seven goals for Krim.

TEXT: Björn Pazen