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In the Main Round basement duels, Krim celebrated a tight victory in France, whilst FCM defeated last year´s finalist Itxako in another thriller.

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Women's News

Happy FCM and Krim



FC Midtjylland (DEN) vs. Grupo Asfi Itxako Navarra (ESP) 23:22 (12:10)

A thrilling finale in Ikast, where the hosts defended their tight lead up to the final buzzer and collected their first two points in the tournament. After three rounds, Itxako are the bottom team in the group with only one point on their record.

In this basement duel, both teams needed points to remain in contention and therefore started out playing with great nervousness and several errors.

Itxako put Macarena Aguilar on their starting line-up as right-back, replacing the injured Nerea Pena. 

Despite playing with two centre-backs and a head-to-head start to the game, it was the hosts who eventually took the bigger initiative. Thanks to their speedy wingers, coach Ryan Zinglersen´s team scored several goals after counter attacks, FC Midtjylland establishing a two-goal lead.

Itxako were faced with a strong Danish defence and coach Ambros Martín´s team had big problems cracking the 6:0 defensive line of the opponents. 

Andrea Barnó and her teammates spent the whole period trying to make up the difference. Carmen Martin did have some nice goals and several 7 metre penalty executions. 

Despite the Spanish efforts, the hosts had a response every time and replied with distance goals from either line Anna Jørgensen or Trine Troelsen.

In the second half, FCM continued in an impressive manner, increasing the lead to four goals, which forced the Spaniards into an early timeout to implement new plans. 

Compared to previous games, the Danes showed few fluctuations in their game plan, in defence and attack, whilst their opponents from Estella were unable to maintain their classy form in the group phase.

10 minutes before the end, the scoreboard read 20:18, the home side with the lead, but then Itxako opted for a more open, five-to-one defence with Raphaëlle Tervel making the Danish attackers nervous.

An exciting final phase was developing as Itxako tightened the score to one goal twice, and their players gave their utmost trying to level the match and turn the game.

Those Spanish efforts paid off, as Itxako´s best player on field, Carmen Martin, scored her seventh goal to make it a 21:21 tie after 55 minutes.

Shortly after, sharpshooter Trine Troelsen missed a distance shot on Itxako´s goalkeeper Silvia Navarro, and the Spaniards then had a good chance to take the lead, but they were unable to score as Sabine Englert stood like a rock in the FCM goal.

The unluckiest figure of the evening was wing player Carmen Martin, who, despite being top scorer of the match, failed to come through in the last three Spanish attacks.


Metz Handball (FRA) vs. RK Krim Mercator (SLO) 20:21 (8:13)

Despite Krim leading by a large margin, Metz almost succeeded in leveling the match in the dying seconds. In the end, the Slovenians celebrated as they earned their first two Main Round points.

The strong home team have the busiest period in their handball career with weekday thrillers in the French domestic league, followed by exciting EHF Champions League duels on the weekends.

After beating Arvor on Wednesday after a brave fight, coach Sébastien Gardillou´s team welcomed Krim in a duel of the two bottom teams in the group, but it was not the hosts who took control of the game in the first period, but their Slovenian counterparts.

Coach Tone Tiselj´s girls fought for their lives, producing a quality half, just as they did last weekend against Buducnost in Podgorica. Everything worked well in attack, and the rock-solid defence helped goalkeeper Jelena Grubisic become player of the match with a saving percentage just a little under 50%.

The Slovenian backline produced some sharp goals, and despite the great heroics of Metz goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud, Metz were unable to stop Krim's attacks. On the French side, Serbian player Kristina Liščević was on fire again, but nothing worked for left-back Claudine Mendy, who missed shot after shot.

In the second half, the hosts woke up and began an enormous energy-sapping catch-up phase as they moved closer and closer to their opponents minute-by-minute.

The final phase was thrilling as Ekaterina Andryushina´s fourth strike brought the hosts only one goal away from a tie score, but in the end, Krim was able to keep their tight lead and the Slovenians celebrated a victory in France.

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs