Final decisionsArticle
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Preview of all the matches from Round 6 of the EHF Women's Champions League.

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Final decisions

Two places remain vacant among the final 8 teams that will participate in the Main Round of the EHF Champions League when the competition resumes in February 2011. In Group A, title-holder Viborg need a victory with a high margin to advance to the next phase, whilst Hungarian Győri AUDI ETO and Slovenian Krim will battle for first place in their group to secure the best possible seeding position for the Main Round draw on the 23rd November.

Group A:

Viborg HK (DEN) - Dinamo Volgograd (RUS)

Reigning champion Viborg are in big trouble. The Danes need to beat their Russian opponent by 9 goals or more if they are to advance to the Main Round and stand a chance of defending their EHF Champions League title.

A very hard task awaits the Danish Champion though, as its strong Russian counterpart is aiming for the same goal. The team of Victor Ryabykh could have made everything clear last weekend, but on home soil they clearly lost against the superior Budućnost Podgorica. Even a returning Anna Kochetova wasn’t able to help her team to victory.

In preparation for the weekend clash, Viborg celebrated a clear 7-goal victory over Århus in the Danish league. Anja Althaus performed well and aggressively in the central defensive position, and goalkeeper Louise Bager Due played an inspired game between the sticks.

If the team of Jakob Vestergaard fails in its last-gasp EHF Champions League bid, the Danes must resign themselves to playing in the Cup Winners’ Cup. This would mean no possibility of defending their title from the last two seasons, and also no Danish involvement in the last 8 for the first time since season 2001/2002.

The EHF Women's Champions League game of Group A, Viborg HK (DEN) vs. Dinamo Volgograd (RUS) on Sunday 21 November 2010 at 14:25 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on

Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) - IK Sävehof (SWE)

The home team enters the last round with maximum points, whilst the Swedes are without points in the EHF Champions League so far.

On paper, this seems to be a mere formality for the Dragan Adžić team that impressively walked over Dinamo Volgograd in an away game to celebrate its fifth victory in five games.

Before entering national team preparation, the Budućnost players want to show their class again, and their goal is another victory before the CL season takes a two-month break.

As predicted at the beginning of the season, this year’s campaign has been a learning process for the team of IK Sävehof, and the players have gained valuable experience from the high-class games.

A slight improvement has been visible in the recent matches of the Swedes, although this probably won’t be enough to take the points from Budućnost.

Group B:

Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) - HC Leipzig (GER)

A real thriller is coming up in the Südstadt as this game will decide who takes a spot in the Main Round.

Both clubs were part of last year’s Main Round, but this year, only one of them will continue in the next phase of the prestigious Champions League.

Hypo are considered to have a slight advantage for winning the place among the best 8, as the team of coach Martin Matuschkowitz plays at home and they’ve already beaten Leipzig away. It also means some pressure for the players, although they seem confident:

"With the win over Debrecen we opened the gate to the Main Round and on Saturday we’d like to pass through it." - said Brazilian international Dani Piedade.

"This week, the commitment of the players at training sessions has doubled. Everyone is motivated and we really want to defeat Leipzig." - continued the line player.

The players of Leipzig, on the other hand, seemingly had their minds on the CL game already during their recent Bundesliga game against Frankfurter HC. They gave an unfocused performance, conceded lots of goals, and finally lost the home game 33:36.

"We need to improve all parts of our game if we’re to secure a point against Hypo on Saturday." - concluded coach Heine Jensen after this bitter defeat.

Whether this result gives Hypo extra confidence, or whether it was just a bad Leipzig rehearsal prior to the main act, we’ll find out in an exciting game on Saturday evening.

The EHF Women's Champions League game of Group B, Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) vs. HC Leipzig (GER) on Saturday 20 November 2010 at 20:25 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on

Itxako Reyno de Navarra (ESP) - DVSC-Korvex Debrecen (HUN)

Everything is already decided for both teams: Debrecen finish their European season after this game, whilst Itxako continue in the Main Round and also has a good seeding position due to finishing first in its group.

The Spanish club made history last weekend, as it’s the first time that it’s qualified for the Main Round of the EHF Champions League. Therefore, the final match against its Hungarian opponent will be the chance for a big celebration, and where the team can dedicate this historic achievement to its loyal supporters.

Debrecen are having a very busy schedule this season, with six tough games within the space of 1.5 months in the EHF Champions League, and a league match almost every week in the strong Hungarian Championship.

They faced the impressive team of Vác on Wednesday in a league game, but despite a fantastic victory and the good performance of returning wing-player Gabriella Juhász, the team of Vilmos Köstner suffered another injury. Barbara Bognár won’t play in Spain as she’ll be missing for a longer period, and this will reduce the chances of the Hungarians to a minimum.

So, Debrecen will play without any real middle-back in Spain, but even so, the pressure is off them now, and they’d like to bid farewell to the CL in a positive way.

Group C:

Toulon Saint Cyr Var (FRA) - Randers HK (DEN)

It’s all or nothing for both teams. With a Randers victory, the Danish side would enter the Cup Winners’ Cup, whilst Toulon need a draw as minimum to continue there.

The French club has already defeated Randers, its only victory so far, and now the players are aiming for their first home victory to remain in the European Cup season.

"We’ve scored 26 and 28 goals in the two games against strong competitor Larvik." - said coach Thierry Vincent.

"That’s a great accomplishment, so we look forward to the decisive game before the international break." - continued the coach.

Randers, on the other hand, tried to upset the 2009/2010 EHF CL-finalist, Oltchim Vâlcea, last week in Romania.

"We really made them fight hard. One could see that we only had a few substitutes, whilst they had some players from the Romanian national team as replacements." - commented satisfied coach Jan Leslie.

"The Romanians were tired at the end, and I must confess, I’m very proud of my girls for fighting until the last second." - continued Leslie.

Randers need to build on this fighting spirit to succeed: "I hope for a victory in France. It would be great fun to continue in the Cup Winners’ Cup in February and play another final in the ELRO Arena." - young Gitte Andersen concluded.

The EHF Women's Champions League game of Group C, Toulon Saint Cyr Var Handball (FRA) vs. Randers HK (DEN) on Sunday 21 November 2010 at 18:45 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on

Oltchim Vâlcea (ROM) - Larvik HK (NOR)

Will Larvik remain ‘spotless’, or will Oltchim take revenge for its loss in Norway?

8 of the Larvik players will continue with the national team after the EHF Champions League takes its break, so before they join the EHF EURO preparations, the club wants to demonstrate its powerful handball again and win for the sixth consecutive time.

Against Toulon, middle-back Gro Hammerseng played her second game after her injury, and even though she was supposed to play in defence only, she scored twice and gave many assists.

"Gro was amazingly good, and it’s great to see her back in full swing after the injury." - commented a pleased Karl Erik Bøhn.

It's recently been reported though that besides Hammerseng, Kari-Mette Johansen, Tonje Larsen, and Cecilie Leganger won't participate in Larvik's game against Oltchim.

For Larvik, the game in Romania will be a double anniversary: besides being the 100th time that the club has played in the EHF Champions League, Nora Mørk will also celebrate her 100th senior game at club level.

Despite their victory and the resulting qualification for the Main Round, their Romanian counterpart wasn’t really convincing in the attacking game against Randers.

"The important qualification to the last 8 is fully deserved. Our defence worked well, and we’re working to be strong in the attacking game as well." - told coach Péter Kovács.

The Hungarian coach aims for success in the last match of the Group Phase: "We’re a professional club and we’ll not rest on the fact that we’ve already qualified for the Main Round."

Group D:

Audi ETO Győr (HUN) - RK Krim Ljubljana (SLO)

Both teams have already advanced to the Main Round of the CL, so in this game they’ll battle for first position in the group.

With a home victory over Podravka Vegeta, KRIM, yet again, qualified for the next phase of the competition. In this final game of the Preliminary Round, the team of Marta Bon wishes to take revenge for their only loss, so far, in the CL this season, by stealing two points from Győr, and with them, first place in the group.

After the all-important qualification to the next phase, and despite some injuries, the atmosphere is good in the KRIM camp, and the players will go all-out to beat their Hungarian opponent.

Győr, on the other hand, have been in continuous top gear since the third round of the competition. The Hungarians defeated their opponents in a very impressive manner and with victory against KRIM, the team of Csaba Konkoly aims to finish in first position in the group.

AUDI ETO celebrated a clear victory in the Hungarian league on Wednesday evening, even though the coach rested two of his classy players, Orsolya Vérten and Anita Görbicz, prior to this crucial game.

Podravka Koprivnica (CRO) - Zvezda Zvenigorod (RUS)

Everything is already decided for these teams: Zvezda will continue in the Cup Winners’ Cup, as in the previous two years, whilst Podravka leave the European stage after finishing last in the group.

The Croats fought bravely in Ljubljana as they sought their first points in the Champions League campaign, but they could only keep the game open in the first half. In the end, they lost by four goals, and now the team of Neven Hrupec is hoping for a victory over Zvezda to give their supporters something to cheer about.

The European season will be over for Podravka after this game, but even so, they’re the main contenders for winning their national league, and a few games in the Women’s Regional Handball League remain to be played. Coach Hrupec will then focus on building a quality team for next season.

Zvezda, on the other hand, failed for the third consecutive time to qualify for the Main Round of the EHF Champions League. In their decisive game against Győr, the Russians couldn’t organise their collective game in attack, and each player was playing for herself. Only individual actions by Anna Sen brought some goals.

"We’ve only scored two goals in the first and last ten minutes of the game and that´s not enough to stand up against a quality opponent like Győr." - concluded Evgeny Trefilov after the game.

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs