Baia Mare prevent an all-Danish final in RomaniaArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Three-time winners of the Women's EHF Champions League will miss this season's Group Matches as Viborg HK lost against HCM Baia Mare in the semi-final of the Qualification Group 3. Baia Mare will face the reigning EHF Cup winners Team Tvis Holstebro in the final.

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Women's News

Baia Mare prevent an all-Danish final in Romania

HCM Baia Mare will face Team Tvis Holstebro in the final of the Qualification Tournament 3 in Baia Mare. The winner of the clash will qualify for the  Women’s EHF Champions League Group A and will face title holders Györi Audi ETO KC, Germanian champions Thüringer HC and Austrian champions Hypo Niederösterreich.

Viborg HK will take on SERCODAK Dalfsen in the third place match, while Baia Mare and Holstebro will play the final at 17:00 CET.

HCM Baia Mare – Viborg HK 26:25 (11:12)

”We know Viborg are a great team, with a lot of ambitions, but we are here to win. If we do achieve this, it would be the greatest performance in our club’s history”, said Costică Buceschi, HCM Baia Mare’s coach, before the game against the Danish powerhouse.

His players understood the message loud and clear and did their best against Viborg, creating a great performance which helped them qualify for the final of the Qualification Tournament 3 in Baia Mare.

Motivated by the 2.500 fans who cheered for them in the “Lascăr Pană” Arena, the Romanian vicechampions started the game brilliantly. A perfect performance in defence, helped by Paula Ungureanu’s saves, and a steady offence meant that Baia Mare took a healthy three-goal-lead early at 4:1 after only four minutes.   

With five new signings in its roster, Viborg couldn’t put a fight as expected in the first 20 minutes, but a brilliant change in defence from coach Christian Dalmose meant that the Danes were back in the game.

More aggresive in defence and deadly on the counter-attacks, Viborg cut Baia Mare’s lead and managed to bridge the gap near halftime, taking advantage of a goal drought of seven minutes by Baia Mare. Therefore, the Danish side had a one-goal-lead at halftime, 13:12.

But Baia Mare didn’t concede the defeat as easily as expected. With an excellent performance by Aneta Pîrvuț and Renata Ghionea in the second half and a stellar display by young star Eliza Buceschi, the Romanian side had the final laugh.

The hosts retook the lead in the 45th minute and were poised to never look back, only to be denied by a string of goals scored by left back Sanja Damnjanović. However, with only six seconds left in the game, right back Melinda Geiger took the ball and surprised goalkeeper Cleopatre Darleux with a powerful shot that secured Baia Mare’s place in the final.

“We had a great game and I want to thank the fans for believing in us even after Viborg took the lead. Our win is very important for the team and we hope to produce the same energy in the final. It would be great for us and for Romanian handball to qualify in the Champions League group stage”, said Costică Buceschi, Baia Mare’s coach after the game.

Team Tvis Holstebro – SERCODAK Dalfsen 38:30 (21:14)

In the second game of the day, Team Tvis Holstebro confirmed its position and won against Dutch champions, SERCODAK Dalfsen. The Danish runners-up started better and took advantage of its counterpart weaknesses, scoring easy goals from all positions in the first half, which ended in a 21:14 rout.

However, Team Tvis Holstebro tried to conserve its energy in the second half, as coach Niels Hjortlund Nielsen Agesen rested his best players in order to achieve their best performance in tomorrow’s final, against HCM Baia Mare.

However, the Dane side took an 11-goal-lead in the 42nd minute, 29:18, which only meant that Holstebro assured its place in the final. The remaining minutes of the game only were a show for the public, as both Holstebro and Dalfsen scored beautiful goals, while the Danish team conserved its forces for the final.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / br