Flawless Baia Mare cruise to the Group MatchesArticle
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GROUP 2 REVIEW: HCM Baia Mare cruise to the Women's EHF Champions League Group Matches after defeating Team Esbjerg, 32:21

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Flawless Baia Mare cruise to the Group Matches

The Romanian powerhouse will join Larvik HK, RK Krim Mercator and Rostov-Don in one of the most exciting groups of this year’s European top flight competition, while Team Esbjerg will join the Cup Winners’ Cup Round 3, where they will play against the winner between Skuru IK from Sweden and Ardesen GSK from Turkey.

Ankara’s experience did not help the Turkish champions prevail in the third place match against Minsk, as the Belarusian champions also continue their European journey in the Cup Winners’ Cup.

A twist of fate could see the two sides meeting again in the competition’s Round 3, if Ankara prevails against Austrian side SSV Dornbirn Schoren in Round 2.

Women's EHF Champions League Qualification Tournaments
GROUP 2 (Baia Mare, Romania)


: HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN) 32:21 (15:9)

Two years ago, HCM Baia Mare enjoyed one of their best games in their team’s history, after defeating Team Tvis Holstebro to qualify for the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches.

The match was over after only 12 minutes, as Baia Mare led 9:0, with a vintage performance in defence.

It was a performance that the Romanian side tried to emulate in this year’s Group 2 final, against another Danish side, Team Esbjerg.

And the packed Lascar Pana hall got what it wanted in the first ten minutes.

With Esbjerg struggling massively in attack, Baia Mare were able to take advantage.

Allison Pineau was in prominent form, and the Romanian hosts bolted to a 5:0 lead.

It took 8 minutes and 13 seconds for Esbjerg to score their first goal, but the inflicted damage was permanent, as Baia Mare were cruising at half-time, 16:9.

The walk in the park continued in the second half, when Baia Mare employed an aggressive defense, as the fans cheered for a 32:21 win.

Experienced left wing Valentina Elisei was Baia Mare’s top scorer, with 9 goals.

Now Baia Mare will play for the third consecutive year in Europe’s top-flight competition.

Third place match:

Ankara Yenimahalle BSK (TUR) vs BNTU-BelAZ Minsk Region (BLR) 27:31 (14:16)

A flurry of costly turnovers saw Ankara Yenimahalle lose the third place match against BNTU-BelAZ Minsk Region.

Laiuk, Ozel and Tankaskaya lost an astonishing 13 balls in the first half, as Minsk erased a 0:4 deficit to bounce back admirably.

Sooner rather than later, the Belarusians took the lead and never looked back.

Ankara’s last chance to leave the tournament with one win came in the first minutes of the second half, when the Turkish side cancelled their opponent’s lead and looked set to win the game.

It soon became clear that it was only a fantasy, as Minsk regained the lead and held onto it until the end, 31:27.

Anastasiya Margo scored eight of the Belarusian champions’ goals and Marina Tankaskaya, with seven goals, was Ankara’s top scorer.

Both teams will continue in the Cup Winners’ Cup.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / bc