Clear victories for Krim and DinamoArticle
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Leipzig finish the Main Round without points, while last year’s finalist Oltchim suffer another 'shock' defeat
 

Clear victories for Krim and Dinamo


Group 1

RK Krim Ljubljana (SLO) vs. Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea (ROU) 37:30 (17:19)

Despite first-half dominance by the Romanian champion, Krim pulled themselves together for the second half, and with fewer mistakes and great attacking, Marta Bon’s team said a nice farewell to the EHF Champions League in front of their home spectators.

Two disappointed teams met in Krim’s new sports hall, the Stožice Sports Park, to decide third place in the group.

Krim, playing in the last EHF Champions League match of Marta Bon, had to enter the court without the pregnant Barbara Varlec, while Oltchim’s starting line-up and traveling squad were shuffled by Radu Voina.

Last weekend, when Oltchim were crushed by Budućnost and evicted from the CL, Voina stated his dissatisfaction with the commitment of several players. For this final game, he selected a mixed-up squad, with many new players joining, among them Gabriella Szűcs and Ionela Stanca.

Oltchim, with the pressure lifted, made a quick-firing start, Voina’s team quickly establishing a 4-goal lead that shocked the home side.

With Andrea Lekić directing the attacks of the Slovenians, Bon’s team woke up from the nightmare and with several well thought out attacks and clever executions, they soon equalized.

Oltchim’s defence didn’t stand well, but neither did Krim’s, as the clash became a battle of the attackers. A total of 84 attacks were mounted in the first half, resulting in 36 goals.

Voina’s team was looking to bow out of the competition with a victory as several errors were creeping into the attacking play of the Slovenians. Quick counter attacks followed, with Ardean Elisei and her team-mates building a series of 5:1 for the Romanians.

Even so, Oltchim weren’t in top shape after their shocking exit from the EHF CL, which allowed Krim to close the gap at half-time.

Signs of fighting spirit, and the will to win, were seen on the faces of the Krim players as they returned to the court from the dressing room.

With the defence not working well today on either side, Bon’s team focused more on cleverly executing their attacks, and, being backed by their passionate fans, Tamara Mavsar and Co. turned the match.

In this phase, fast attacks were mounted by each side, but as several technical errors came from the away team, Krim were able to maintain their 2-goal lead.

Voina tried to refresh his team, bringing on Mihaela Smedescu as a new goalkeeper, but his back court totally collapsed and was lacking in ideas. The Romanian champion eventually gave up the fight and Krim had no problems in winning the match to finish in 3rd position in Group 1.

Group 2

HC Leipzig (GER) vs. Dinamo Volgograd (RUS) 23:26 (13:12)

Despite a 5-goal Leipzig lead in the first half, Dinamo Volgograd turned the game to celebrate a clear victory, and with it, third place in the group.

The match had little real importance with both clubs having already said farewell to their semi-final dreams earlier in the Main Round. The main issue for both teams was to finish their last round match without injury before the important and decisive phase starts in their domestic leagues.

Leipzig, backed by the returning Anne Ulbricht, were without points after five rounds, but experts gave them a good chance of beating the Russians, who would play without their tall back player, Marina Lambevska.

The home side started with a stronger engagement and with the will to keep the two points at home.

Leipzig’s back player, Karolina Kudlacz with 9 goals in the game, again performed very well and she, along with Dinamo’s Anna Kochetova, 8 goals in the match, contributed to a separate duel in scoring.

Heine Jensen’s team pushed hard in the first half and thanks to their great attacking play, scored goal after goal which meant a 5-goal lead after just 22 minutes.

Dinamo fought back, however, to close the gap, and Victor Ryabykh’s team even came as close as one goal at half-time.

The last 30 minutes started with Volgograd wishing to contribute more to the match. Kochetova and her team-mates cleverly executed their clear-cut chances, following a two-minute suspension to Leipzig’s Kudlacz, and within minutes, the game turned.

An even, low-scoring battle ensued, with both teams making several errors in their attacking play, and both goalkeepers saving comfortably.

For nearly 50 minutes the game pattern was for Leipzig to go ahead by one goal, which was then equalized by Dinamo. Suddenly, Ryabykh’s players scored four consecutive goals, and turned the match again.

The new Russian lead caused confusion among Heine Jensen’s team, and the Leipzig players seemed to lack ideas. All of this meant that Dinamo retained the lead cleverly to bring home the two points.

In conclusion, the home side repeated their last season’s performance of reaching the Top 8, but losing all of their games, while the Russians have also well reached the Main Round again, but failed to qualify for the semi-final.

In the upcoming weeks, both clubs will give their utmost in their respective domestic leagues in order to clinch first place, thereby enabling them to return to the EHF Champions League next season.


TEXT: Márk Hegedüs
 
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