Group D favorites don't stumble in final roundArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: On the final day of group play, Buducnost survive an early scare to win 29:25 against Lublin, while Bucuresti beat Sävehof 27:22.

Group D favorites don't stumble in final round

MKS Selgros Lublin held on for 30 minutes against current title holders Buducnost, but in the second half Cristina Neagu and Katarina Bulatovic ran riot in the Polish defence.

And after their win against Sävehof, CSM Bucuresti improved their tally to five points and are set to fight for a place in the quarterfinals.

Group D:
CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs IK Sävehof (SWE) 27:22 (13:9)

There were only ten minutes in which Sävehof dreamt of a huge surprise on CSM Bucuresti’s court as the hosts scored only once in Johanna Bundsen’s goal.

But the Romanian champions swept aside the doubts after a 10:4 run between the 10th and the 25th minute, sparkled by a great effort from goalkeeper Mayssa Pessoa.

Without Linnea Torstenson, who was still recovering from a knee injury, Bucuresti were helped in attack by near-flawless efforts from Isabelle Gullden, Ana Paula Rodrigues and Maria Fisker.

CSM’s speed and agility could not be matched by Sävehof, who found themselves overwhelmed too many times.

“It was not a perfect game and the international break could not come handier for us," CSM coach Kim Rasmussen said. "We had a lot of games and a lot of time to spend outside the court."

"This period was very difficult with a change of coach but we are happy that we lost only one game," Rasmussen added.

The 27:22 win brought another two points for CSM, who will bring a tally of five points to the table into the main round of the competition.

"We are happy with what we achieved," keeper Mayssa Pessoa said. "But we must take care not to become complacent. The competition is still young and we need to be focused on what will come in 2016."

On the other side, after four obvious defeats against the two group’s powerhouses, Sävehof will start with zero points in the main round.

"We have achieved our objective," Sävehof coach Henrik Signell said. "It is good for our young team that we are between the top 12 teams in Europe."

Group D:
Buducnost (MNE) vs MKS Selgros Lublin (POL) 29:25 (12:13)

It is not usual for Buducnost to fail to lead at half-time in their own backyard.

However, two weeks after CSM Bucuresti dictated play in the Montenegrin capital, MKS Selgros Lublin also stunned Buducnost in the first half. The coincidence? Both teams were leading 13:12 after 30 minutes.

It was not the way Buducnost wanted the group to end, even if a loss against the Polish champions would have had no consequences with Lublin already eliminated from the competition.

But having Cristina Neagu and Katarina Bulatovic on court helped Buducnost regain the upperhand.

Neagu bounced back after an off-night in Sweden, scoring eight goals from 10 shots, while Bulatovic also added eight goals to climb to the second place of this year’s top scorers list with 38 goals.

Therefore, even without Majda Mehmedovic, Radmila Petrovic and Dragana Cvijic, the Montenegrin powerhouse came back after the break and won convincingly, 29:25.

"This was a match with no competitive significance," Buducnost coach Dragan Adzic said. "We were off the pace in the first half. But it's important that we got the victory and ended the last match in the group stage without injuries."

With seven points, Buducnost will be already on the top of their group in the main round, while Lublin will continue in the Women’s Cup Winner’s Cup, where they will find out their last 16 opponent on Tuesday.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew