Larvik in favour for the semi-finalArticle
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Larvik and Itxako tied in the fourth round of the EHF Champions League Main Round.

Larvik in favor for the semi-final

Title holder Larvik secured one vital point in the prestigious club tournament when they tied with last year´s finalist Itxako 19:19 in their fourth round game in the Main Round of the EHF Champions League.

The outcome presented the Norwegians with an excellent chance of snatching a berth for the semi-final.


Grupo Asfi Itxako Navarra (ESP) vs. Larvik 19:19 (12:6)

The local spectators created a cracking and highly amicable atmosphere in Estella.

Itxako’s aggressive defence proved to be a stumbling block for Larvik’s attacks in the opening 10 minutes but long-range efforts from the reigning champions kept them on level terms.

The unstoppable Macarena Aguilar scored two straight goals as coach Ambros Martín´s team took a three-goal lead midway through the first half.

Jessica Alonso netted two penalty shots to keep the hosts in the driving seat to open up a five-goal lead.

As the Norwegians could not break through the Spanish defence or missed their chances, the fast Itxako players extended the gap easily to six goals in minute 30.

Even changes of court players did not stop the downswing of the Scandinavians in the first half. But after the break their passion returned, they showed more efficiency in attack and had no more problems in defense, so a marvelous catch-up started.

Karoline Dyhre Breivang and her colleagues showed moral and fighting spirit in the second period of the game, their efforts have paid off and coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad´s team leveled the match. A see-saw battle ensued as goals came at either end.

Alexandrina Barbosa restored Itxako’s lead with five minutes left on the clock, but Itxako’s joy was short-lived as Larvik tied the score shortly afterwards. 

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs