Crying out for the last chanceArticle
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Slovenian back court player Barbara Varlec is convinced that Krim can still make it to the semis.

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Crying out for the last chance

A week ago there were a lot of tears in Krim's squad after the home defeat against Budućnost. But Itxako's victory against one of the EHF Women’s Champions League favourites Vâlcea brought back hope to the Slovenian team.

In her interview with, Slovenian backcourt Barbara Varlec made clear that she still believes that Krim could reach the semi-finals. After the defeat against Budućnost you were really disappointed. It seemed like the semi-finals were out of reach – what went wrong?

Barbara Varlec: I must say that this was one of the worst games we played this season. We could not put together the pieces of the puzzle at all. Especially our defence was a catastrophe. To receive 40 goals in 60 minutes, I would never ever have imagined that. It was sad to lose in front of our fans, and therefore probably closing the doors to the semi-finals. But after Itxako won in Vâlcea, your chances are still alive.

Barbara Varlec: Well, those were fantastic news on Sunday. Not that we couldn’t have imagined that Itxako could defeat Vâlcea in Romania, but it had a slight touch of science fiction. The Navarra team once again showed how important it is to prepare really intense for opponents. They had discovered all their weaknesses, played with patience and with great team spirit – and in the end won deservedly. Now the ranking situation is complicated in our group and we still have chances. You already won over Itxako once, so do you hope for the second victory on Saturday?

Barbara Varlec: The first game is not in our mind anymore. We won, that is about it. In Spain a completely new duel is expecting us. How could we defeat Itxako in Estella, something nobody else managed to do in the Main Round? I am sure our coach will find a good tactic to gain two vital points. Krim is not playing handball on the high level that everyone expected. Where do you see the problem?

Barbara Varlec: I am not sure. Our team is good; we have really exceptional individual players. Amongst us there is a great team spirit. Still we do not perform as well as the 'paper would say'. In defence there is too much inconsistency. And in attack playmaker Andrea Lekić is making fantastic job, but we are still not as effective as expected. I just hope that our last chance, which is now given to us, will finally be taken. What do you think will decide Saturday's match in Spain?

Barbara Varlec: I think tactics as well as the player’s determination. Physically we are prepared for not only 60 minutes, but 120 minutes of playing. But we have to step on the gas pedal and produce a good performance on court. And then, we could win. So on Saturday - who are the favourites?

Barbara Varlec: Itxako are, without a doubt. They can play without pressure, as the Spanish team’s goal for the season was getting into the Main Round, while ours was reaching at least the semi-finals. Itxako is also improving from match to match. And of course, they will have support from their home crowd.

Krim Mercator’s fight for their last chance to stay in the competition in an away match against the Spanish champions will be broadcast as a free-of-charge live web stream on

EHF Women’s Champions League, Main Round, Round 5
Saturday 12 March 2011, 19:00 hrs (local time)
Itxako Reyno De Navarra (ESP) vs. RK Krim Mercator (SLO) is the official Internet TV platform of the European Handball Federation and offers free live streaming as well as a video on demand service.

TEXT: Maja Mastnak