Thüringer finish main round on a high noteArticle
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GROUP 1 MATCH REVIEW: Thüringer HC will face Norwegian giants Larvik in the quarter-finals following a morale-boosting win against German rivals HC Leipzig.

Thüringer finish main round on a high note

Thüringer HC enter their Women's EHF Champions League Quarter-final tie against Larvik full of confidence after closing the Main Round with a 27:23 victory over HC Leipzig on Sunday.

The German champions qualifed in fourth position from Group 1, level on 11 points with Dinamo Sinara and WHC Vardar SCBT, but finished behind those two clubs due to the head-to-head tie-breaker.

Women's EHF Champions League Group 1

Thüringer HC (GER) vs HC Leipzig (GER) 27:23 (11:11)

Few had tipped Thüringer HC to reach the knockout stages of Europe's premier club competition, but the German champions proved well worth their place in the last eight, and capped their impressive progress with a convincing home win against HC Leipzig.

With a slice of luck, they could have finished in Group 1's top two, which would have given them more favourable opposition in the next round than the unbeaten Larvik, but their fans, who packed the Nordhausen Arena on Sunday, could not have asked for more.

The result of this game could not affect the standings, but you would not have known that from the high-tempo opening.

Leipzig proved a tougher nut to crack than in the reverse fixture, which Herbert Muller's side won 34:25, and entered the half-time break level with their German rivals.

But with goalkeeper Jana Krause in fine form and Austrian right wing Katrin Engel unstoppable at the other end, Thüringer made their individual quality count after the interval and established a four-goal lead.

The hosts moved up a gear following several superb goals from Katrin Engel, who finished the game as her team's top scorer with eight.

Anne Hubinger scored eight goals in reply, while Karolina Kudlacz scored seven to take her competition-best tally to 84. That record is unlikely to last until the end of the competition as other teams advance, but the Polish back can certainly look back on her campaign with pride, as Leipzig bow out.

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / jh