Full focus on the return matchArticle
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Larvik’s Cecilie Leganger sees the opponent’s fanatical spectators as an extra motivation for her side.

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Full focus on the return match

The Norwegian champions Larvik HK celebrated a great victory in the first leg match of the semifinal against Budućnost Podgorica. One of the main pillars for the win was Larvik’s goalkeeper Cecilie Leganger, who saved marvellously in goal of the home side.

The deeply-focused Leganger shares her views on that first match, and looks forward to playing in the Morača Sports Center in Podgorica, Montenegro.

ehfCL.com: Larvik celebrated a five-goal victory on home soil last weekend. Was it the match that you had expected?

Cecilie Leganger: Yes, the match was quite as expected. Both teams showed a stable and tough defence. In this semifinal, it was a meeting between two clubs that never give up and who fight until the end.

We improved our game play in the second half, but the opponents showed a great attitude and fighting spirit in the dying minutes of the match. Therefore, the result ended "only" plus five and not more for Larvik.

ehfCL.com: This time, Heidi Løke didn’t ‘shine’ that well, but your back court players had a fantastic match. Was it a tactical element that they had more responsibility in shooting?

Cecilie Leganger: It was natural for the back players to take more responsibility as Budućnost’s defence worked well and Heidi became blocked.

I think that she and our back court players always work very well for each other, so they will always be a very dangerous combination for any team.

ehfCL.com: In the Morača Sports Center in Podgorica a real 'hell' with 6000 loud and fanatical spectators will await your team. How can you prepare yourself to play under such big pressure from the spectator side in the return leg?

Cecilie Leganger: We have to think of this atmosphere as a fantastic opportunity to reach an even a higher level of routine and victory, but on a sportswoman and personal level.

To play in front of so many spectators is a dream, if we think correctly, and prepare ourselves well. In that case, it gives a very big motivation, rather than a negative effect, to the team that visits their hall.

ehfCL.com: Did Budućnost’s game play surprise you in any way when you consider the first leg match in Norway?

Cecilie Leganger: Not really. For me there were no real surprises. The Montenegrins came well-prepared, and they’re a superb team.

ehfCL.com: With one eye, I assume you’re watching who could become your final opponent... What’s your personal comment on the result of Itxako - Győr in Spain?

Cecilie Leganger: With a half-eye, yes! I think it’s a totally open result, as anything can happen in the return match.

But this is something we don’t need to waste energy on. Our main focus will be on our own preparation and on the second leg match in Podgorica.

On Sunday the experienced goalkeeper Leganger will do her best in the loud hall in Montenegro. Can her team manage to go through to the final? Follow the second semifinal and her performance on our free-of-charge live web stream on ehfTV.com.

EHF Women’s Champions League, semifinals, second leg
Sunday 17 April 2011, 19:30 hrs (local time)
Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) vs. Larvik HK (NOR)

ehfTV.com 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: Márk Hegedüs