Larvik survive scare to remain unbeatenArticle
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GROUP D MATCH REVIEW: The Norwegian champions were down by one goal in the 52nd minute, but won by a five-goal margin against MKS Selgros Lublin

Larvik survive scare to remain unbeaten

Larvik HK had their work cut out in Hala Globus on Friday as MKS Selgros Lublin put up a serious fight against the Norwegian champions. However, Larvik emerged victorious, 28:23, in the second round match of the Women’s EHF Champions League Group D and remained unbeaten, while the Polish side recorded the second defeat in as many matches extending their losing streak in the European top flight to 10 games.

MKS Selgros Lublin (POL) vs Larvik HK (NOR) 23:28 (14:13)

Heavily favoured before the game against Polish champions Lublin, Norwegian powerhouse Larvik HK had a brilliant start in Hala Globus.

With a well-paced attack and solutions from the 9-meter line, the wings and the line, the Norwegian side built a five-goal advantage in the first 12 minutes of the game, while the Polish side had little comfort in Ekaterina Dzukheva’s exciting saves.

But in the 13th minute, as Larvik lead with a five-goal margin, 9:4, Lublin’s coach Sabina Włodek took a timeout that changed the image of the game, which looked like a walk in the park for the Norwegian side.

Somehow, the Norwegian champions’ ideas in attack disappeared and Lublin made a fantastic comeback.

After a nine minute stretch in which Larvik did not score a single goal, Lublin turned the game upside down, scoring six unanswered goals to take the lead, 10:9.

It looked like the Polish hosts found the key to Larvik’s weaknesses, which were also displayed in their season opener against Metz Handball.

A shaky defence and several miscommunications in Larvik’s attacking phase took their toll on the scoreboard, propelling Lublin to a one-goal lead at half-time, 14:13.

Larvik’s woes continued also in the second half. Not even Nora Mørk’s presence, the top goalscorer for Larvik in the first game, could not help the Norwegian side pull away from their counterparts.

Therefore, the two sides embarked in a nip and tuck battle, in which neither of them could move off in the second half.

In the end, Larvik’s experience was enough to earn another two points. The Norwegian team scraped by in the final ten minutes, with a dream return for Polish left back Alina Wojtas in Lublin.

Five of Larvik’s 15 goals in the second half were scored by the former Lublin player, as the Polish side paid the price for not having solutions on the bench, the same scenario that made Lublin lose against Baia Mare last week.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / br