Viborg qualified for main roundArticle
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Danish champion through to next stage, Leipzig, Hypo and Dinamo kept their chances.

Viborg qualified for main round

Title defender Viborg HK has qualified as second team after Krim Mercator Ljubljana for the main round of Womens Champions League. The Danish champion won against Byasen and due to the victory of Leipzig in Koprivnica, Viborg is the winner of group A beforethe last match day of the group phase. Leipzig now only need one point against Byasen in the last match to go on to the next stage. Krim remain spotless after beating Metz and is the winner of group B. Dinamo Wolgograd kept their chances for the main round after beating FCK Copenhague like Hypo after the victory against Aalborg.

Group A:

Viborg HK – Byasen Trondheim 29:22 (13:10)

Viborg had a great start and led with a four goal difference. Upcoming Viborg player Marit Malm Frafjord (top scorer for her team with in total six goals) played strong, but couldn’t bring her team from Norway closer to the Danish. Viborg defense stood strong and was the key to the 13:10 at halftime, even as Byasen goalkeeper Grimsbö showed some great saves. The host extended the lead to intermediately six goals, but Trondheim fought hard against the defeat. In the end the counter attacks of Mikkelsen and Varzaru(both with seven goals for Viborg) decided the match, which was very clear in the end. After the match Viborg published the news that goalkeeper Katrine Lunde Haraldsen won’t extend her contract at the Danish champion after this season. “Unfortunately we couldn’t find a solution for the finances. We tried hard to keep Katrine, but now we’re going to start to find a substitute for her”, VHK director Peter Cassoe said.

Podravka Koprivnica – HC Leipzig 28:29 (12:15)

Leipzig is only one step away from the main round with now five points, as Koprivnica remain with four points like Byasen and lost the direct encounter against the German champion. The match was high tensioned, but with a great number of mistakes on both sides, too. Susann Müller (Leipzig) and Svitlana Pasicnik (Podravka) were the top scorers with each ten goals. Thanks to their strong defense, Leipzig took the points and now have a great base for the last match against Byasen. The Germans were in lead most all the time and had big advantages in the first half, as they were in front with a four goal difference right before the break. Even as Koprivnica could reduce the gap to 17:18, the Croats couldn’t take the lead.

In contrast: Leipzig extended the lead again to 25:21. But right before the end, Koprivnica again was close to turn the match at the score of 28:29 one minute to go. As goalkeeper Schülke saved the last shot of the Croats after Leipzig had lost the ball, the highly important victory was celebrated by HCL players and spectators.

Group B:

Hypo Niederösterreich – Aalborg DH 27:22 (14:10)

Hypo still has good chances to follow Krim Ljubljana to the main round with now four points. But Hypo still need a victory in Slovenia next week, as Metz can still overtake the Austrians – even as they lost in Ljubljana today. Aalborg is out for the next stage with still two points. Led by the Korean Oh, Hypo extended the lead after a nervous start. Afterwards Brazil player Cararo (top scorer with eight goals) was the key to the 14:10 halftime result. Right after the break Hypo extended the lead to 18:10 and later on to 22:14, as goalkeeper Olga Sanko showed some brilliant saves. As the match was decided, Aalborg reduced the gap, but couldn’t turn the match.

Krim Ljubljana – Handball Metz 35:31 (20:14)

As Krim was already qualified for the main round before, Metz missed the great chance to take a big step to the next stage. Ljubljana was the dominant team for the whole 60 minutes, as most of the Metz players seemed to be tired of the World Championship in China, where France surprisingly won the Silver medal – with a lot of players from Metz. Krim didn’t only have the better goalkeeper (Grubisic with 22 saves), but the better offensive, too, as the French champion missed too many chances. All Krim field players scored and didn’t have problems to take their fifth consecutive victory in their fifth group match. Topscorers were Zrnec (5 for Krim) and former Krim player Franic (6) for Metz. The French still can hope for the main round, as they have to beat Aalborg on home soil and have to hope for a Krim victory in Vienna.

Group D:

Dinamo Wolgograd – FCK Handbold 26:23 (15:13)

As Larvik can qualify as number one of group D by beating Buducnost on Sunday, Dinamo Wolgograd is in good position to go on, too. The team with a lot of World Champions beat FCK with a three goal difference and won the direct encounter against the Danes, too, after losing in Denmark with only one goal. FCK had the better start and lead until minute 23 (13:10), before Wolgograd turned the match with five consecutive goals. Thanks to their better defense the Russian championextended the lead to 24:21 and pre decided the game in minute 49. By keeping this three goal distance, Dinamo now have five points and are one point ahead of FCK that will have to play in Montenegro in the last match.

TEXT: Björn Pazen