Viborg close to the finalArticle
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The Danes clinched a surprisingly easy victory in Valcea.

Viborg close to the final

Viborg HK are very close to the Final of the Women’s Champions League after an impressive 34-28 away win against Oltchim Valcea in the first leg of the semi-final tie.

An extremely solid defence and a very effective Katrine Lunde Haraldsen in the Viborg goal made it possible for the Danes to win.

Viborg’s left winger, Gitte Aaen, was back from injury. Only Bojana Popovic and Nora Reiche were missing as they are both out for a longer period.

It was not Aaen, however, but the other left winger of Viborg, Henriette Mikkelsen, to play very well in the first half. Time and time again did she manage to “steal” balls and start fast breaks, especially in the first half.

In general, Valcea had a hard time against the Viborg defence, and the Romanian backcourt players had particular problems, while the wingers had somewhat more success.

In the defence, Valcea started by pushing Valentina Ardean Elisei forward to a 5:1 formation. This brought no success and was changed into a 6:0 defence after only 8 minutes.

Viborg in control from the start

With their strong defence and goalkeeper, Viborg managed to control the game from the start and they were in the lead all the 60 minutes. During the entire first half, the Danish champions managed to extend their lead, partly due to their many fast breaks, partly due to a fine established attacking play with almost no mistakes. After 6-3, 10-6 and 12-7, the visitors could take a reassuring 16-11 lead to half time.

After the break a full hall supported Valcea despite the disadvantage. Each time Valcea managed to reduce the distance, the visitors were able to answer. At 17-20 – when the spectators began to believe in their chance –Viborg increased the pace again and made it 28-20 within minutes. It was already 34-26 before the hosts scored the last two goals of the match.

“We were very close to a perfect game! We never dreamt of a six-goal win, so we are very content,” Viborg´s head coach, Jakob Vestergaard, said.

Valentina Ardean Elisei was Valcea´s top scorer with 6 goals, while Henriette Mikkelsen and Grit Jurack scored 7 for Viborg.

The second leg will be played in Viborg Stadionhal on Saturday at 14.05hrs local time.

TEXT: Peter Bruun