Larvik win Main Round openerArticle
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EHF Champions League winners from 2011 beat Randers HK 25:19 in the Scandinavian derby.

Larvik win Main Round opener

When Larvik and Randers met in the group stage of the Women´s EHF Champions League in the 2010/11 season, Larvik won by 14 and 18 goals.
This time the EHF Champions League winners from 2011 won less than half as big, as the two teams opened Group 1 of the Main Round in front of 1752 spectators in the Larvik Arena. Remaining three matches of first round will be played next weekend (2-3 February).

Group 1: Larvik HK vs. Randers HK 25:19 (12:9)

At the start, however, Larvik seemed to be heading for another huge win. A strong defence and an extremely well playing Cecilie Leganger in goal gave the hosts an early six goals lead, before Randers got better into the game.

Both teams were missing important players due to injury. By Larvik Kari Mette Johansen and Nora Mørk were sidelined, while neither of Randers´ playmakers Macarena Aguilar and Berit Kristensen had got fit either.

The handicap seemed to be biggest for Randers who had huge problems creating scoring opportunities from the start – and Leganger took most of the shots they produced.

This meant that Randers only managed to score twice within the first 15 minutes, and had Chana Masson not made a marvelous performance in the visitors´ goal, Larvik would have been up by more than 8:2 which was the score after the first quarter.

Towards half time, though, Randers had a certain success with a more aggressive defence, and at the same time they managed to increase the pace in their attack. This enabled the Danish champions to reduce the distance to three goals at half time and two at the beginning of the second half.

From then on, however, Larvik´s larger physical resources became more and more obvious, as head coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad simply had more players to change among, than his colleague Jan Leslies on the opposite bench.

Randers tried more offensive formations in their defence, but they could not prevent Larvik from increasing their lead to eight goals during the second half, before Randers managed to reduce the gap by a couple of goals at the end.

“The match turned out the way such matches often do, when you have not played international matches for some time, and when the teams know each other very well,” Larvik´s head coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad told

“I am very content with our win, and I am content with our defence and with our goalkeeper. However, we will need to work quite a lot with our attacking play before our next matches in this group,” Gjekstad added.

 “We made too many mistakes in the beginning of the match, and more or less for the rest of the game were we hanging after with those four or five goals, we got with at the start,” Randers coach Jan Leslie told

“Apart from a poor start to both halves, we played an okay game, but in general we missed too many opportunities. However, you have to consider that we have many young players who have not played many games like this before,” Leslie added.

Right winger Lin Kristin Riegelhuth Koren became top scoring player for Larvik with seven goals, while right back Camilla Dalby scored five for Randers.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br