Viborg climb above Metz after thrilling finishArticle
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GROUP 2 MATCH REVIEW: Isabelle Gulldén's goal eight seconds from the final whistle means Viborg leapfrog Metz into third place in Group 2.

Viborg climb above Metz after thrilling finish

Isabelle Gulldén scored the winning goal with just eight seconds remaining to secure a vital victory for Viborg against Metz in Denmark on Monday.

The win means the Danish club leapfrog their French opponents in Women's EHF Champions League Group 2 and take a big step towards the quarter-finals, following an epic encounter that lived up to all expectations.


Viborg HK (DEN) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 27:26 (12:12)

Both sides came into this crucial clash well aware that it could have a huge impact on which team advanced to the quarter-finals.

This was evident in the opening stages as first Rikke Skov, then Ana Gros, tried in vain to spark an early surge, which would allow their team to pull away.

Instead the first half was dominated by good defending.

Viborg stepped on the gas after the break, and the Danish right side caused problems for the French wall as Louise Katharina Burgaard and Louise Knak Lyksborg inspired a great run that saw the home side establish a three-goal lead. 

Metz needed Gros to keep them in the game at times, but even then the Danish side maintained the upper hand by forcing a pair of quick turnovers.

All of which meant, the outcome of the game hinged on a frantic final 10 minutes.

The physical toll of the tie was beginning to tell and errors crept into both teams’ play, although there was always an enough energy for a response whenever a team fell behind.

The teams were level with eight seconds to play, that is until captain Gullden scored – having seen her initial attempt blocked – to claim an important success, which not only lifted Viborg above their opponents, but boosted their chances of advancing.

"We were in the lead by three at times, and we felt confident, but we do not have many replacement players," said Gulldén.

"We cannot be afraid of losing, because then we will lose. I am a proud captain."

Viborg coach Christian Dalmose was also delighted to see his side come through such a tough test.

Dalmose added: "I always feel confident in my team. We did a great job.

"It was not a great match the first 15 minutes, but the rest of the match was a played at a really high level."

TEXT: Bence Mártha / jh