No joy for the home sides in Group AArticle
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GROUP A REVIEW: Dinamo make up for their shock defeat to Krim last weekend, while Leipzig claimed back to back wins over Hypo in Austria

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No joy for the home sides in Group A

HC Leipzig’s good start in Women’s EHF Champions League Group A continued with a 24:18 away victory against Hypo Niederösterreich to confirm their place in the main round.

Dinamo-Sinara overpowered RK Krim Mercator for a 26:24 victory in Ljubljana on Sunday. The result follows Krim’s 26:25 surprise success in the reverse fixture last time out in the competition and means Dinamo leapfrog the Slovenian champions into second place in the group.

Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) vs HC Leipzig (GER) 18:24 (7:12)

Leipzig defeated Hypo for the second time in three weeks after the hosts faded following a good start, making too many mistakes to take anything from the game.

After 11 minutes of play, it seemed that Hypo had erased memories of the 42:22 thrashing received in Germany last month, taking a 5:3 lead.

But the warning signs were evident as Olga Sanko had a 67 per cent save percentage through the early stages, as the pressure increased on her goal.

At the other end, the hosts were once again too reliant on the attacking play of Gorica Acimovic, who scored each of those first five goals.

Leipzig’s goals were coming, meaning the visitors’ chief concern was tightening up in defence.

This was achieved as Leipzig scored three unanswered goals to move in front before nullifying the threat of Acimovic, and her teammates, as Ferenc Kovacs’s side were only able to add two goals before half-time to trail 12:7.

Leipzig continued to play at a high pace and increased the lead to 14:7 by the 33rd minute.

And, when Maura Visser scored with her right hand from the right wing after a zeppelin pass with a Hypo player down, it looked like another heavy defeat was looming.

But Sanko was the shining star between the posts and her 15 saves prevented Leipzig completing another one-sided scoreline. The Austrian side even made the score respectable with a 5:1 run in the final five minutes, but the game had long been over as a contest.

RK Krim Mercator (SLO) vs Dinamo-Sinara (RUS) 24:26 (13:12)

Dinamo triumphed in a tight and physical game, utilising their strength and experience to hold off Krim’s fight-back.

Both teams played with purpose in defence from the start with a shallow zone employed at both ends.

Krim took the lead in the opening exchanges after some skillful attacking on the wings. The girls from Ljubljana were also getting a good performance from goalkeeper Aleksandra Petrukhina, who finished with six saves in total.

The advantage reached 8:4 in the 17th minute before Dinamo hit back with a 3:0 run.

Marta Bon’s side held on to the lead until the 43rd minute, when the Russian side increased up efforts in defence.

The visitors eventually edged in front 18:17 in the 46th minute at which stage it was becoming clear that goals were going to be at a premium in the closing stages.

The scoring slowed for Krim and, despite an impressive 13-save performance from goalkeeper Misa Marincek, Dinamo began to add to the lead.

The gap was three goals with just over two minutes remaining but the hosts mounted a comeback and pulled back to 25:24, thanks to Mirjeta Bajramoska, who finished with eight goals.

But Anna Kochetova had the last word and she rounded off the scoring with her 11th goal to seal the win as Dinamo survived Krim’s full-court press.


TEXT: Graga Sever / jh