Leipzig double German group stage representationArticle
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REVIEW: German team overcame Group 1 hosts in the Women's EHF Champions League Qualification to clinch the spot in the Group C.

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Leipzig double German group stage representation

HC Leipzig follow German champions Thüringer HC into the Group Matches of the Women's EHF Champions League and double the German representation among the top 16 teams of the premier continental competition.

That is a fact after Leipzig won Qualification Group 1 in Trondheim. A 29:24 win against BNTU BelAZ Minsk Region in the semi-final Saturday was followed by a 27:23 win against hosts Byåsen Trondheim in the final Sunday.

Before the final, Norway´s other participant in the qualification group, Tertnes Bergen had secured the third place in the group by defeating Minsk 28:25 after 7 meters.

Women's EHF Champions League Qualification, Group 1:


Byåsen Trondheim vs HC Leipzig 23:27 (12:13)

Byåsen got the far better start to the final in the Trondheim Spektrum, and the their fans watched the hosts being up 5:1 after six minutes. A team time-out taken by Leipzig coach Thomas Ørneborg at this early point seemed to have a certain effect, though.

His team won the following seven minutes 4:0 and equalised to 5:5, thanks to goals from Karolina Kudłacz and Susann Müller and an improving performance by Jule Plöger in goal.

Four minutes later, then, the visitors could celebrate their first lead at 7:6, and at half time, Leipzig were still one goal ahead, 13:12.

From the start of the second half, Leipzig practically decided the match. It took Byåsen more than ten minutes to score their first goal after the break, through Vera Bekken, and at that point Leipzig were leading 18:12.

That lead was soon extended to seven goals, and even though Byåsen managed to score four goals in succession from the 53. to the 58. minute, which reduced the distance from 18:24 to 22:24, their finish came too late, and Leipzig could celebrate the qualification for the Group Matches.

Susann Müller became most scoring player for Leipzig and in the match with eight goals, while Byåsen had their top scorer in Camilla Herrem who netted in five times.

In the Group Matches, Leipzig can look forward to playing in Group C, where their opponents will be three national champions – RK Krim Mercator from Slovenia, Metz Handball from France and IK Sävehof from Sweden.

Leaving Norwegian champions Larvik as the country's only representative in the European top flight, Byåsen will continue in the Cup Winners' Cup, in the Round 3 they will face the winner of the match OFN Ionias from Greece vs fourth ranked team of the EHF Champions League Qualification Group 2.

Third place match

Tertnes Bergen – BNTU BelAZ Minsk Region 28:25 (10:13) after 7m shoot-out

The losers of the Saturday's semi-finals decided the third place between them. The Belarusian champions got the better start against last season´s number three in Norway and were leading 13:10 at half time.

As the second half progressed, though, Tertnes managed to turn the tables and get a 24:24 draw. This meant that the third place has to be decided through 7 meters shot, and here the Norwegians were best, winning the penalty shoot-out 4:1 and the match 28:25.

Two players scored ten goals each – Maren Lied by Tertnes and Katsiaryna Silitskaya by Minsk.

Tertnes and Minsk both accompany Byasen to the Cup Winners Cup, but while Belarusian outfit start already in the second round against Turkish Üsküdar B.S.K. Dernegi, Norwegian side will join only in Round 3 meeting the winner of the match Spono Nottwil vs fourth ranked team of the EHF Champions League Qualification Group 4.

The three remaining teams in the group phase will be found next weekend, when the three other qualification groups are carried out.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br