Main round berth still up for grabs after dramatic drawArticle
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GROUP C MATCH REVIEW: IK Sävehof appeared set to silence the passionate home crowd in Sunday’s away match against Lokomotiva Zagreb, before a remarkable second-half comeback claimed a crucial point for the hosts.

Main round berth still up for grabs after dramatic draw

One of the most exciting matches so far in this season’s Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches ended in a draw – the second encounter between these two sides – after Lokomotiva Zagreb rallied from a seven-goal deficit in the second half to clinch one point that could be pivotal in their bid to reach the main round. 

Sunday's result left both sides on two points each from four games, but should they finish the group level on points, Lokomotiva will have a head-to-head advantage after scoring more away goals in last weekend’s 29:29 draw in the reverse fixture in Sweden. 

HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO) vs IK Sävehof (SWE) 23:23 (10:15) 

A thriller form start to finish, Sunday's third-place battle between Lokomotiva and Sävehof failed to produce a winner but kept fans on the edge of their seats as the Croatian title holders staged a magnificent comeback to keep their hopes of advancing to the main round alive.

After trailing 20:13 midway through the second half, the home side launched a ferocious onslaught to deny the visitors what looked like a certain win after a dominant performance in the opening 45 minutes of the game.

Having fallen 4:1 behind early on, Sävehof quickly turned the game around with 9:2 run. Left back Ida Oden was unstoppable from the nine-metre line, while Jenny Alm kept Lokomotiva on the back foot with a series of penalty goals.

Switching their defence from 6-0 to 5-1 did little to help the Croatian champions, as Sävehof troubled them with a combination of set plays and fast breaks. But Lokomotiva’s deep 4-2 defence finally paid dividends, forcing a barrage of turnovers and grinding Oden to a halt. 

Lidija Horvat and Michaela Hrbkova were on fire for Zagreb, and when Hrbkova netted her sixth goal, the hosts equalised the match for the second time.

With a minute left on the clock it seemed Sävehof would take the victory when Oden rifled in her eighth goal. But lady luck then smiled on Lokomotiva when a saved right wing shot by Neli Irman rebounded kindly for left wing Tea Grubisic, who scored the equalising-goal with five seconds left.

Lokomotiva and Sävehof now remain at the bottom of the Group C table with two points each. Györi Audi ETO KC is comfortably ahead on eight points and Viborg HK A/S is in second on four. 

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cg