Women’s summary: Main RoundArticle
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The semi-finalist places have been taken over the weekend in the Women's CL. Read what's happened in Round 5.

Women’s summary: Main Round

All four semi-finalists are known after Round 5 of the Women’s Main Round. After Hypo had been qualified before, now Viborg, Győr and Valcea secured a place in the next competition stage. In the direct duels of Group A (Viborg vs Hypo) and Group B (Györ vs Valcea) it will be decided next weekend which teams will be ranked first and second – and what will be the semi-final fixtures.

Group I

Hypo Niederösterreich – Podravka Vegeta 38:28 (20:16)

Tóth scored 15 this timeHypo won their 10th game out of 11 this CL season. This time against Koprivnica (only two points so far) the Austrians (10 points) didn’t have problems to earn a clear victory.

As Hypo were qualified for the semi-finals before, they could play without pressure, but they started badly, especially in defence. Petra Blazek had to replace Sabine Englert (knee injury) in the goal and her defence colleagues didn’t help her much at the beginning.

But when the “Hypo express” speeded up in offence, the match went well for the eight time CL winners. After the break Hypo increased the gap and Koprivnica didn’t have a glimpse of a chance.

In the 45th minute the result was 32:19 and the match was decided. The Hungarian international Tímea Tóth showed an outstanding performance and scored 15 of the 38 Hypo goals.

Viborg HK – Ikast Brande 34:29 (18:12)

By winning the second Danish-Danish duel, Viborg are qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League with eight points now. If the Danish champions beat Hypo on home court by more than two goals, Viborg will win the group.

Even as top stars, such as Bojana Popovic, Althaus, Reiche, Aaen and Björndalen, couldn’t play, VHK dominated the match against Ikast for the whole 60 minutes.

Ikast failed completely in the very beginning as Viborg took a 11:3 lead after just 11 minutes. The hosts slowed down a little bit and Ikast came closer until halftime (18:12). But then the great time of Grit Jurack came. She scored most of her goals (all together 7, just as Christian Varzaru) after the break. As the match was decided, Ikast improved thanks to Mette Sjöberg, who scored nine times.

“There was pressure on us before the match. We missed many important players,” Viborg coach Jakob Vestergaard said. “I’m totally satisfied. Now we can concentrate on the return match against Hypo in a sold out hall. We want to be number one in our group.”

Ikast remain without a point in the main round.

Group II

Győri Audi ETO – Krim Ljubljana 34:33 (19:13)

It was hard work for Győr, but in the end the Hungarians qualified for the semi-finals after a very close victory against Krim. As Győr have seven points, Krim remain with four and fall out of race after Valcea’s victory against Buducnost.

After an equal start Győr extended their lead to 13:6 and 14:9 (22nd minute), especially as goalkeeper Katalin Pálinger (38 percent of saved shots only in the first half) improved and Krim missed too many chances. The only Krim player to hit the net at this stage was Lekic.

Right before the break, Győr couldn’t score like before and missed the chance to extend the lead to more than the six goals (19:13). And this became important in the second half: Krim came closer goal by goal and were near to equalise in the 42nd minute as they made it 25:24. Győr didn’t have the strength in defence anymore and the Slovenian defence stood well.

Pivot Bodnieva and playmaker Lekic brought Krim back to the match that was marked by a lot of counter attack goals. As Ljubljana equalised at 29:29, Győr coach Konkoly took his green card – after a series of 16:10 goals in 17 minutes for Krim.

And the match remained totally equal until the end: mostly Győr had the lead and Krim equalised. In the very last minute Anita Görbicz scored and made it 34:33, Krim missed their last chance 25 seconds before the final whistle and the whole arena celebrated the qualification for the semi-finals.

“We had the chance to increase the distance to eight goals, then the match would have been decided very early. But we missed our chances. We have to learn a lot until we’re able to play 60 minutes with full concentration,” Győr coach Csaba Konkoly said.

Even as her team lost, Krim coach Martha Bon was not disappointed:

“I’m quite satisfied. We had the chance to win, but we failed in this high class match. Next season we’ll try again.”

The best scorers were Vérten (Győr), Lekic and Bodnieva (Krim) with nine goals each.

Oltchim Valcea – Buducnost T-Mobile 31:22 (15:8)

Valcea did the jobOltchim Valcea were the last to qualify for the semi-final over the weekend: the Romanians showed a very strong performance against Buducnost and defeated them very clearly.

To become number one in Group B, Valcea (6 points) now need a victory at the last match in Győr. A draw would be enough for the Hungarians (7 points) to remain on top. But even if Valcea lose in Győr and Krim win against Buducnost, the Romanians can’t lose their second position as they won the direct encounter with + 5 goals against the Slovenians.

Lecusanu and Ardean paved the way to the next round for Valcea as they scored nearly the half of the goals against Buducnost. The Montenegrins didn’t have a chance and remain with only three points on fourth position in Group B.

Valcea benefited from a good start and a strong defence as the Romanians were leading with a good seven goals at halftime. As Buducnost recognised that they can’t win, they gave up and Valcea went away to a very clear 31:22 victory.

The best scorer of Podgorica was Jovanovic with six goals.

TEXT: Björn Pazen