Dinamo the eighth team in the Main RoundArticle
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Despite a defeat in Denmark, Volgograd qualify for the Main Round, Vâlcea beat Larvik, sixth victory for Podgorica – The Summary of Sunday’s matches of Round 6.

Dinamo the eighth team in the Main Round

48 matches have been played, the Group Phase of the EHF Women’s Champions League is over – and the final decisions have been made in Round 6: Volgograd were highly lucky to qualify for the Main Round, as reigning champion Viborg were close to a sensation – but the Danes "only" won with a seven-goal difference.

The only unbeaten team in the whole competition is Budućnost Podgorica, as Larvik lost their first match on Sunday in Vâlcea. Toulon took the last free place in the Cup Winners’ Cup by narrowly beating Randers.

On Tuesday (11 hrs local time, live stream on www.ehfTV.com) all eyes will be on Vienna, when the draw for the Main Round will take place. The two Main Round groups will each consist of two group winners and two runners-up (not coming from the same group).

The following teams have qualified:

Group winners:

Budućnost Podgorica (MNE)

Itxako Reyno de Navarra (ESP)

Larvik HK (NOR)

Audi ETO Győr (HUN)


Dinamo Volgograd (RUS)

HC Leipzig (GER)

Oltchim Vâlcea (ROM)

RK Krim Ljubljana (SLO)

The Main Round will be played over six rounds from 5th February 2011 to 20th March 2011. The two best-ranked teams will qualify for the semi-finals.

The following teams – with a total twelve EHF Women’s CL titles between them - will go into the Cup Winners’ Cup:

Viborg HK (DEN)

Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT)

Toulon Saint Cyr Var (FRA)

Zvezda Zvenigorod (RUS)

Group A:

Viborg HK – Dinamo Volgograd 36:29 (14:17)

The last decision has been taken – and reigning CL champion Viborg HK was close to a big sensation.

The Danes needed to beat Dinamo Volgograd with a nine goal difference to qualify as the eighth and last team for the Main Round – and only two goals were missing at the end of a legendary match.

The decisive game had one key figure: Grit Jurack. The German right-back scored an incredible total of 17 goals, six of them from penalty shots.

Jurack was the driver of the roller coaster. Nobody would have bet on Viborg after 30 minutes, as the Russians were leading 17:14 – and the ‘distance to the Main Round’ was a massive 12 goals for Viborg, with only 30 minutes to go.

But by changing their defence, Viborg found the joker in the pack, and the dramatic catch-up chase started. Seven minutes before the end Viborg had turned the game completely and by reaching 31:24 after a 17:7 series the sensation was close.

In the final stage, Volgograd managed to put the brakes on the Jurack express, and by maintaining the gap at seven goals, they stumbled, but did not fall.

The reigning champion will go onto the Cup Winners’ Cup, while Volgograd remain among the top eight teams of the CL. Even the 12 goals of Lambevska were overshadowed by the great "Grit solo".

Budućnost Podgorica- IK Sävehof 33:26 (16:14)

Thanks to this expected victory, the champion from Montenegro is the only one of the 16 teams to have won all of their six matches in the group stage.

Sävehof could surprisingly catch up until the break, but then lacked the power and concentration, as Budućnost scored one goal after another.

The Swedes remain the only team not to gain a point in this EHF Champions League season.

Group C:

Toulon Saint Cyr Var - Randers HK 24:23 (16:10)

After Viborg had missed the Main Round earlier, Randers dropped out of European competition for this season after losing at CL debutant Toulon.

Despite a catch-up chase by the Danes after the break, the French Champion had the better finish, and secured the third rank in this group with four points, and ahead of Randers (on 2).

For the Danes it was the fifth straight defeat after beating Vâlcea in the opener.

Oltchim Vâlcea - Larvik HK 33:28 (18:13)

Prestigious success for Vâlcea, first defeat for Larvik – but both teams had already qualified for the Main Round.

As group winner Larvik had won the first duel 34:31, this was the opportunity for the Romanians to show their strength.

The Norwegians travelled without 5 of their main players to Romania, and Vâlcea played highly effective and fast handball in attack.

The score was very clear at the break, and the Norwegians did not find the way to penetrate the Romanian defence.

Thanks to a 5:1 series right after the break, Larvik was close to turning the game at the score of 18:19 – and still had hope until the 25:27 and the final stage of the match.

Then Vâlcea set free their last powers and took a well-deserved victory – the revenge was complete.

Top scorers were Larvik’s Nora Mørk, Linn Jørum Sulland and Heidi Løke, and Oltchim’s Ionela Stanca and Valentina Ardean Elisei, each with six goals.

Statement after the match:

Péter Kovács, coach Oltchim Vâlcea: "It was a beautiful game played by both teams. Oltchim and Larvik have extraordinary qualities in offence and defence, but also we must not forget the goalkeepers. Neagu, Stanca, Manea, Elisei and Fiera played very well. I can say that all the girls made a good job today. The fact that we didn’t have any pressure made us play more freely."

Group D:

Podravka Koprivnica - Zvezda Zvenigorod 41:28 (22:17)

Happy ending for Koprivnica, bitter-sweet group finale for Zvezda: The Croats won their first match in the EHF Champions League this season but must say good-bye to the European Cups, as the Russians – despite the clear defeat - will go onto the Cup Winners’ Cup.

Nine goals from Ivana Petković and seven from Vesna Milanović-Litre paved the way for this unexpectedly clear victory – but Zvezda had the top scorer in their squad: Ekaterina Vetkova with eleven goals.

Though the first half was quite even, the Russians were only a playing-thing for Podravka after the break, as the Croats won the second half 19:11.

Maybe one reason for the clear defeat was the absence of their coach Evgeny Trefilov.

TEXT: Björn Pazen