Women's summary: Round 5Article
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Seven out of the eight places are taken in the women's CL Main Round. Read the summary of a decisive weekend.

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Women's summary: Round 5

Seven of the eight main round participants are known after Round 5. It is only unclear in Group B whether Buducnost or FCK will follow Hypo to the next stage of the CL. Everything else is set.

Back to Group B: Buducnost need home draw at the decisive match against FCK.In Group A Ikast and Győr made their way through o the main round. In Group C Valcea and Podravka are qualified, similarly to Viborg and Krim in Group D.

Both Russian clubs, title holder Zvezda and last year’s semi-finalist Lada, have been eliminated from the CL.

Group A
Zvezda Zvenigorod – Ikast Brande 28:28 (15:13)
Győri Audi ETO – Kometal Skopje 35:20 (19:9)

The saves of Suslina were not enoughThe title holder is out of race: with a home draw against Ikast, Zvezda Zvenigorod missed their last chance.Ikast are through to the next stage, but the Danes were very lucky to get an important point in Russia.

With this success, Ikast took revenge for the lost EHF Cup Final of 2007 against Zvezda. The Russians dominated the first part of the match, leading 12:5, while Ikast had a lot of problems with the Russian offence. But as Gro Hammerseng took more responsibility and Mette Sjöberg didn’t miss any of the seven penalty shots in the first half, Ikast came closer to 13:15 before the break.

At 22:20 the Danes were in the lead, but Zvezda fought back until the final whistle. The last three minutes were very exciting: Zvezda took the lead by a goal and Ikast equalised. In the final attack it was Isabel Blanco to score the decisive 28:28, which was the end of the Zvezda dreams.

Ikast’s Sjöberg scored nine, Hammerseng five. “It was very difficult to be successful in Zvezda,” Ikast coach Kenneth Jensen said, “the Russian played hard, but Gro Hammerseng and Isabel Blanco had the strength to lead our team through the hard times.”

The other game of the group was smoother in Hungary.

Anita Görbicz was missing from Győr. The playmaker of the Hungarians was not allowed to play by the doctors due to ongoing cardiovascular checks.

Nevertheless, the Hungarians easily qualified for the main round as they have now eight points from five matches.

With a series of 7:0 goals, Győr paved their way to the victory from quickly as they took a 10:2 lead. At 14:4 it seemed to be a one-sided match. At halftime, after Vérten’s fifth goal, the fans celebrated already at 19:9.

Vérten and Anita Herr remained dominant after the break and Skopje couldn’t come closer. Győr extended their lead to 14 goals (27:13) in the 46th minute and Győr did a good job by a 15-goal win. Skopje’s best player was Ana Amorim.

Group B
Hypo Niederösterreich – FCK Handbold 28:18 (17:8)
Elda Prestigio Buducnost T-Mobile 20:26 (10:14)

Hypo won easilyAfter the defeat in Podgorica, Hypo is back on track and qualified for the main round by a clear victory over FCK. The Danes are currently third, but FCK can follow Hypo to the main round with a victory in the decisive last match in Podgorica next weekend.

Hypo defence was strong and the FCK attack was very weak. This was the big difference in the first half when the guests scored only eight goals. Especially the Brazilian Alexandra Nascimento played an outstanding game for Hypo.

Though the Austrians were not focused enough after the break and FCK could come closer, they could never return within five goals as Hypo re-heated the engines.

FCK’s bad performance could be partly explained by the missing Nadine Krause, who is injured at the moment. Nevertheless, coach Anja Andersen hopes that the German would return for the last and decisive match.

Buducnost starts 2009 well: after beating Hypo at home, the Montenegrins won in Spain and have good chances to qualify for the main round. They only need to beat or make a draw with FCK, currently with two points behind.

Goalkeeper Sonja Barjaktarović was the match winner of Buducnost as she saved 13 shots including three penalties. Katarina Bulatovic scored seven times for the guest team that took a great start with a 12:6 lead.

Even as Elda came closer at halftime (10:14) it was clear that Buducnost had more power and determination to win. At the end Podgorica had no problems against the Spanish champions and Elda will definitely end their European campaign this week.

The best scorers for Elda were Soit and Zak with five goals each.

Group C
Lada Togliatti – Podravka Koprivnica 28:34 (12:14)
Larvik HK – Oltchim Valcea 25:27 (15:13)

The young Lada could only fightBy winning in Larvik, Valcea didn’t only qualify for the main round, but also allowed Koprivnica to celebrate: As Larvik can collect only six points – even with a win next week against Lada – they are out of the Champions League. The Norwegian have lost both direct encounters to Valcea (0:4 points) and Koprivnica (2:2 points, but worse goal difference).

Once again, Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth showed an outstanding performance in Larvik. Her club was in the lead for a long period and at the end the Norwegians lost. Valcea won 25:27 and that is the end for Larvik.

Riegelhuth scored 12 of the 25 goals of Larvik as the Norwegians dominated for a very long time.

“We had the control for more than 40 minutes, but then we were too weak,” Larvik coach Karl-Erik Böhn said. “Against a team such as Valcea you need more than one single top player like Riegelhuth to be successful.”

However, Böhn hopes to qualify for the Cup Winners’ Cup now. In Togliatti this weekend,Larvik could even lose by ten goals and still qualify for it.

“I hope we will be able to go on,” Böhn said.

But Larvik still don’t know if Riegelhuth would remain at the end of the season with some big offers from Denmark, especially from FCK.

For Valcea, qualified on top spot, Luca (7 goals), Gatzel and Avadanii (each 5) were the best scorers. The Romanians took the lead by mid second half and secured the victory by a more intensive defence and making less mistakes in offence.

Even the frenetic 2,500 spectators couldn’t help last season’s semi-finalist Lada Togliatti against the Croatian champions. By losing against Koprivnica, the CL season is over for the Russians as they have only two points on their account and a very bad goal difference.

Andrea Penezic played an outstanding match on the Croatian side. She scored 11 goals and she was the most important player in a strong Podravka defence. In addition, goalkeeper Ungureanu saved 14 shots.

Both teams missed key players, but Lada was hit harder as Postnova, Bliznova and Muravjeva couldn’t play. Only Tatari was out from Podravka.

The first half was equal until the very last minutes as Podravka went away to 14:12. With important saves by Ungureanu, the Croatians extended their lead to 21:17 (40th minute) and decided the match by the 45th minute at 24:18. The best scorer of Lada was Chernoivanko with 7 goals.

Group D
Viborg HK – Metz Handball 35:27 (19:11)
Krim Ljubljana – 1. FC Nürnberg 33:25 (17:9)

Viborg showed their potentialEverything is clear in Group D after Round 5. Viborg and Krim are qualified for the main round of the Champions League, Metz go on in the Cup Winners’ Cup and for Nürnberg the international season is over.

Viborg and Metz played quick handball at the very beginning – 15 goals scored within 10 minutes –, but it took time for Viborg to break the French resistance. Finally, it was 19:11 at the break.

The outstanding Lunde sisters helped Viborg to the victory even if Henriette Mikkelsen was the top scorer with her seven goals. Grit Jurack also scored seven.

Viborg controlled the match after the break; Metz didn’t have a chance to come closer.

Isabel Wendling and Lenka Kysucanova were the most dangerous Metz players.

“I’m very satisfied with the match,” VHK coach Jakob Vestergaard said, “after a great first half we seemed to play in stand-by mode, but we dominated the match completely.”

The last match over the weekend against Krim will decide who will top the table. Krim won the first match by 38:34 and Viborg need to win with by five.

Viborg’s Bojana Popovic was voted best female player of 2008 in Denmark and Viborg also officially published the signing of Gorica Acimovic from Hypo for three years.

Fourth victory for Krim, fifth defeat for Nürnberg: after a 33:25 over the German champions, Ljubljana reach main round.

As Nürnberg were hit by a series of injuries (Wohlbold, Rösler, Beck), Krim had an easy afternoon. Nürnberg didn’t have a glimpse of a chance.

After the 8:2 and 15:8, the Nürnberg resistance was broken. Krim could spare energy for the decisive match in Viborg on Saturday.

Mörtel scored nine, Lekic and Golubic with six. Christina Rohde also scored six on the Nürnberg side.

“We were well prepared, even as Nürnberg couldn’t play with their best team. We reached our objective and now we’re happy to prepare for the main round,” Krim player Barbara Varlec said.

Coach Marta Bon added:

“We’re on the right track. Even in Viborg we can win, let’s see what will happen.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen