Rostov-Don overpower Krim to maintain perfect recordArticle
«Go back

GROUP A REVIEW: Russian giants Rostov-Don beat RK Krim Mercator 36:31 and storm into the Women’s EHF Champions League main round with six wins from as many games.

Rostov-Don overpower Krim to maintain perfect record

Rostov-Don has emerged as the only team in this season’s Champions League to finish the group matches with a maximum 12 points, after a 5:0 run at the end of each half secured a resounding 36:31 win at Krim Mercator, who will carry on in the Cup Winners’ Cup.

Group A:
RK Krim Mercator (SLO) vs Rostov-Don (RUS) 31:36 (14:18)

A vastly entertaining game in Ljubljana produced a fitting end for Rostov-Don to their group stage campaign as they ran out comfortable winners over the section’s bottom team Krim on Friday.

The Russian side will head into the main round beaming with confidence after winning all their six games, taking a maximum eight points into the second stage of Europe’s premier club handball competition.

Krim, in contrast, lost all six matches and failed to reach the main round for the first time since the 2007/2008 season, but will carry on in the Cup Winners Cup after a brave performance against their more heralded Russian rivals.

It was a free-flowing contest as both sides showed plenty of creativity in attack, with Krim matching the group’s heavyweights in all departments for long spells.

The game was finely balanced, but lapses in concentration at the end of each half cost the home side, as Rostov had a 5:0 run at the end of the opening period to turn a 14:13 deficit into a four-goal halftime lead.

The final five minutes produced a carbon copy when Rostov again moved up a gear to score five unanswered goals and come away with an impressive victory.

Having rested their top scorer Iuliia Managarova, the visitors relied on the shooting prowess of Ekaterina Ilina, who led their effort with seven goals from nine shots.

The game seemed to be over after Rostov led 26:21 midway through the second half but a valiant fightback allowed Krim to take a 28:27 lead heading into the closing stages of the match.

A deeper roster then made the difference as Rostov pulled away in the final stretch, with Oxana Kiseleva adding five goals, while Mayya Petrova, Ekaterina Davydenko and Regina Shymkute chipped in with four each.

Krim’s Polona Baric finished with a game-high eight goals, Alja Koren netted six from seven shots and Manca Juric scored four from as many efforts.

The home side’s top player Tamara Mavsar struggled, though, amassing only two goals from five shots on a difficult afternoon for the prolific Slovenian winger.

"It was a little bit of a strange match," Rostov-Don player Christine Lunde said. "There were a lot of goals. I can't say we are satisfied with the match but this is how it was."

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / ew