FCK shiver until the endArticle
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Zvezda beat Györ on matchday one, Leipzig and Hypo win their starters – read the Sunday’s summary of women’s CL.

FCK shiver until the end

Round 1 of the Women’s Champions League started with only one little surprise: After the four away victories in four matches on Saturday, on Sunday Leipzig, FCK, Zvezda and Hypo won their starters. Last season’s finalist Györ lost in Russia. Larvik, Zvezda, Krim and Viborg are the first leaders in the four groups.

Group A:

HC Leipzig – Podravka Vegeta 35:32 (18:15)

Three seasons ago, for HC Leipzig their last appearance in the CL group phase ended with a victory against Podravka (32:22), 2009 the German champion started in the new season by winning against the Croatians. The match was imprinted by a strong performance of Leipzig goalkeeper Katja Schülke and the ten goals of Podravkas best scorer Andrea Penezic. 3000 frenetic spectators attended a high speed match with a lot of goals.

Leipzig was mostly leading, as right after the break Koprivnica had the chance to turn the page. But the 21:20 was the only lead for the Croatian champion. The match kept close until the very end, but the each six goals of Mette Ommundsen and Ania Rösler paved the way to the perfect start of HCL. The only bad news for Leipzig: Ommundsen had to be brought to hospital after an finger injury in minute 45. Natalie Augsburg decided the game in minute 56, hitting the net for the 34:29.

“It was a high class match for the spectators”, HCL coach Heine Jensen said and added: “We highly enjoy this victory on home soil, as now we can play in Viborg without any pressure.” For Podravka coach Zdravko Zovko Leipzig „was the better team and played extraordinary in some stages of the game. We lacked power in the end.“

Group B:

Aalborg DH – Hypo Niederösterreich 30:36 (12:23)

Splendid start for record CL winner Hypo Niederösterreich: Thanks to an extraordinary first halftime the Austrians won clearly in Aalborg.The Danish fought well after the break, but the gap was too big to close, as Hypo started the second 30 minutes with an eleven goal lead. In the end Aalborg could reduce this big distance to six goals after they had scored five consecutive goals right at the start of halftime two (17:23), but Hypo took the points well deserved. The match was decided at the score of 32:25 for the eight time title winner of the CL.

But there was one bad news for Hypo: Korean international Soon Young Huh, who transferred to Vienna before the start of the season, left Hypo back to her home country right before the first CL match. As Brazilian Daniela Piedade is currently the only pivot, the club is looking for a new player on this position.

Group C:

Zvezda Zvenigorod – Györ ETO Audi 34:29 (14:11)

Triumphal return to CL: As 2008 CL winner Zvezda had been eliminated in last season’s group phase, the team from Russia took the first hurdle Györ very easy. Both teams had to replace their top players: Görbicz and Bradeanu were missing on Györ side, Poltoratskaya on Zvezda side. Thanks to several saves of goalkeeper Suslina, Zvezda controlled the match from the beginning, Györ missed too many chances.

At the break the Russians were ahead with three goals, and Györ changed their line-up. But they couldn’t stop Vjakhirjeva, who was the Zvezda topscorer with six goals. Aside Andryushina played a top game. Best scorers for Györ were Kovascics with six and Mravikova with five goals.

Group D:

FCK Handbold – Dynamo Wolgograd 24:23 (10:12)

FCK had to shiver until the last second of the match. Wolgograd was in ball possession, but the last attack ended two seconds before the final whistle by a technical mistake – the big FCK party started. The current leader of the Danish championship had to replace former World handball player of the year, Nadine Krause, due to a shoulder injury. Coach Anja Andersen was completely under pressure during the complete 60 minutes, as her team couldn’t increase the distance to Wolgograd, playing with a superb defence and goalkeeper.

The Russian had surprised the Danish top team with a brilliant start and were leading 9:4. But then the great time of goalkeeper Christina Pedersen started. Due to her saves, FCK found their rhythm, and reduced the gap to two goals at the break. Dinamo again started better, but the 14:10 was the last sign of life, before FCK turned the match and went ahead for the first time with the 17:16.The Danish couldn’t decide the match earlier and couldn’t extend the lead to more than two goals, as Wolgogradcaught up again. But in the end, Andersen & Co. were the lucky ones.

TEXT: Björn Pazen