Huge expectations in ValceaArticle
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The Romanians could easily fill a football stadium for the semi-final against Viborg.

Huge expectations in Valcea

If we’ll manage to stop the fast breaks of Viborg, we will have a chance to win the match, says the coach of Valcea, Radu Voina, ahead of the biggest game in the history of his team.

Lecusanu will be key to Valcea's successSo far, Oltchim won both IHF and Cup Winner’s Cup, but never managed to qualify among the best four of the EHF Champions League. It’s true that Oltchim Valcea reached the semi-finals twice in the European Cup, but back then it was not yet called EHF Champions League. In 1990, Valcea was eliminated by Kuban Krasnodar. Two years later Hypo stopped the Romanians.

“We already achieved our objective this season, the semi-finals. But once we are here, why not try going all the way to the top? We have experienced players, we have the desire, we have absolutely everything to win the cup,” Radu Voina explained.

However, the coach of Valcea knows that his team must be able to play their best game ever in order to overcome the Danish stars.

“Viborg have a very good defence and love to carry out very fast throw-offs. So I think I will not be able to make many changes from attack to defence. At least for the first 15 minutes, we will play with the same seven on both ends.”

Meanwhile, the EHF Champions League semi-final already turned the whole town into a volcano. Apart from the 1,000 season tickets, the club put on sale another 800 for the big game against Viborg. That could be surely not enough. It took only 30 minutes until the last ticket was sold.

“We received calls from people 500 km away from Valcea who wanted to be in the hall. In order to satisfy everyone, we should have moved to a football stadium with 35,000 seats at least,” the executive director of Valcea, Petre Berbecaru, added.

Not only the coach and the management are looking forward to the game with great expectations, goalkeeper Luminita Dinu is also determined. Whether Viborg are favourites, she replies so:

“There are no favourites in the semi-finals. All four teams are equally strong.”

The Romanian national team goalkeeper is fully concentrated on the game on Sunday. Her objective is clear:

“If we manage to win by five to six goals, then our chances will increase considerably.”

The 37-year old Romanian international also counts on the fans:

“Our supporters will be our eighth player and we want to make them happy. I know they will support us for the entire 60 minutes and because of them we will fight for every single ball as if that one would win the game.”

TEXT: Emilian Voicu and Ivan Ambroš