Another possible Danish exam for Baia MareArticle
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PREVIEW: Baia Mare hosting Qualification Tournament 2, with Esbjerg hoping for first ever Group Phase berth

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Another possible Danish exam for Baia Mare

While Györi Audi ETO KC seem to be the clear favorite to proceed to the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Phase from the Qualification Tournament 1, the other group is an unpredictable one.

In a packed Lascar Pana venue, the hosts, HCM Baia Mare, Team Esbjerg from Denmark, Ankara Yenimahalle BSK from Turkey, and the Belarusian champions, BNTU BelAZ Minsk Region, will fight for one ticket to the Group Phase with Larvik HK, RK Krim Mercator and Rostov-Don (Group A).


Team Esbjerg (DEN) vs Ankara Yenimahalle BSK (TUR)

Saturday 12. September 13:30 local time

The Danish powerhouse endured an agonizing loss in last season’s local championship final, after a 22:23 loss and a 22:22 draw against FC Midtjylland. But the Danish insist last season’s woes are behind them, as they embark on their first ever EHF Women’s Champions League game.

Their opponent, Ankara Yenimahalle BSK, is also a fresh face in Europe’s top flight competition, but they come with an experienced line-up: Croatian right wing Anita Gace, Polish goalkeeper Anna Wysokinska and Women’s EHF Champions League finalist Yeliz Ozel.

However, Esbjerg will be the clear favourite with Estavana Polman in superb form. The Dutch back scored 22 goals in her team’s first three official matches and will look to add to her tally in Baia Mare.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs BNTU-BelAZ Minsk Region (BLR)
Saturday 12. September 16:00 local time

Two seasons ago, Baia Mare shocked Danish handball by qualifying after beating against Viborg HK and Team Tvis Holstebro.

The connection between that performance and 2015 is home advantage and the vocal home crowd of Baia Mare.

But before the Romanians could possibly meet another Danish team in a qualifying tournament final, Aurelian Rosca’s team have to overcome BNTU BelAZ Minsk Region.

However, the pressure is on the Romanian side: “Our main focus is on Saturday against Minsk. The only goal for us is to qualify for the Group Phase. Anything less will be disappointing. That doesn't mean it is going to be easy. It will be very tough but we will give everything to qualify in front of our own fans,” said Lois Abbingh, Baia Mare’s left back.


It’s Baia Mare’s qualification to lose, after a flurry of changes that have seen huge changes in their roster. In the coaching department, Aurelian Rosca replaced Tone Tiselj, while several important players like Barbara Arenhart, Ekaterina Davydenko, Ksenia Makeeva, Anastasia Lobach and Camilla Herrem have all left the team.

French star Allison Pineau, Croatian line-player Katarina Jezic, promising Romanian back Gabriela Perianu, experinced goalkeeper Ionica Munteanu and defensive specialist Gabriela Preda have bolstered Baia Mare’s squad. This Romanian side is seeking their third consecutive qualification to the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Phase.

Loser match 1 vs loser match 2
Sunday 13. September 14.00 local time

Winner match 1 vs winner match 2
Sunday 13. September 16.30 local time

Which team will make it to Group A? Find out by watching all the games live on

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / bc