Győr and Krim in the Main RoundArticle
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After Saturday’s matches of Round 5, four teams are already through to the next stage.

Győr and Krim in the Main Round

After the successes of Budućnost and Larvik, two more teams qualified for the Main Round on Saturday: Audi ETO Győr and Krim Ljubljana in Group D. All of the other four places can be decided on Sunday - if Volgograd takes a point against Podgorica, Leipzig and Itxako tie, and Vâlcea earns at least a draw against Randers.

Group B:

Hypo Niederösterreich – DVSC-Korvex Debrecen 28:26 (15:14)

Thanks to the eight goals of do Nascimento and seven from Rotis-Nagy, the record title-holder of the Women´s Champions League can still hope for the Main Round with four points. If Leipzig loses on Sunday against Itxako and Hypo beats the Germans in the last round, the Austrians will have made their way thanks to their direct encounter.

Debrecen (whose top scorer was Bognár with eight goals) is out of the race now. The match was very even, just like in the first round when the two teams met each other, Debrecen had the chance to win despite the fact that Hypo was leading for most of the time. Hypo turned an 8:10 deficit into a 15:14 advantage at the break and kept the lead until the 21:19 stage, before the Hungarians turned the game with three consecutive goals. But Hypo had the right answer by scoring four straight goals to make it 25:22. The last real ‘sign of life’ from Debrecen reduced the gap to 25:24, before the Austrians decided the game in the last minute.

Group C:

Larvik HK – Toulon Saint Cyr Var 38:26 (23:12)

Fifth match, fifth LHK victory – even though Larvik had already qualified for the Main Round, the Norwegians again showed their strength, this time against the French champion. Thanks to this result, Vâlcea only needs one point on home ground against Randers on Sunday to follow in the footsteps of LHK.

Player of the match was Heidi Løke, who scored 12 times and took the lead in the top-scorer rankings with 42 goals after five matches. Kristiansen scored six times, and Riegelhuth five times for the Norwegians, while Tuvene was Toulon’s top scorer with seven goals.

The match was decided very early, as Larvik led 14:4 thanks to their brilliant defence and their counter-attacks. After 30 minutes, the difference was eleven goals, but in the second-half, Toulon improved as the host decelerated in this completely one-sided game.

Toulon’s slim chance of reaching the Main Round is dependent on three factors - a Randers victory in Ramnicu Vâlcea, after which they must themselves beat Randers, whilst hoping for a Vâlcea defeat against Larvik.

Group D:

Győri Audi ETO – Zvezda Zvenigorod 33:22 (19:12)

While Zvezda failed to qualify for the Main Round for the third consecutive time, Győr is among the top eight teams of the Women’s Champions League.

The Hungarians not only took revenge for their defeat in Russia, but went on to the next stage in a most impressive manner.

Zvezda made far too many mistakes in the first 20 minutes – and Győr punished them with counter attacks. Thanks to their high speed play, goalkeeper Katalin Pálinger, and a strong defence, the host led clearly 8:2, and 12:4, and was close to a ten-goal gap with a score of 16:7 in the 24th minute.

The Russians tried to come back into the game and played with much more concentration in the last six minutes before and the first five minutes after the break. When Ana Gros hit the back of the net right before the half-time whistle to make it to 19:12, things looked very good for the home team.

The Hungarians had to thank goalkeeper Lunde Haraldsen in the 36th minute, as the Norwegian international saved a penalty shot, and thanks to two straight goals, the team of Csaba Konkoly took control again. 

From that point onwards it was quite an easy job to take the two points, and with them, qualification to the Main Round.

Zvezda finally accepted that the match was a lost cause when the score reached 29:20 in the 47th minute. The top scorers were Sen with 8 goals for the away and Görbicz with 7 for the home team.

Despite the defeat, Zvezda has qualified for the Cup Winners` Cup and so will remain at international level. Győr and Krim will fight for the number one status in this group in the last round.

RK Krim – Podravka Vegeta Koprivnica 26:22 (12:12)

Like Győr, Krim has cleared the final hurdle to the Main Round by winning the Balkan duel.

This close match was imprinted by two outstanding goalkeepers – but not even the 23 saves of Ivana Jelzic were enough to give Podravka its first point of the season.

On the other side, Croatian-born Jelena Grubišić saved 18 shots, and her team decided the game in the final stage of the match.

Koprivnica was on level terms until the score of 22:21, but then their former player Andrea Penezić scored some decisive goals in a tense match, attended by 3500 spectators.

TEXT: Björn Pazen