Rostov stay perfect and Fleury Loiret stun LarvikArticle
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GROUP 1 REVIEW: Rostov Don beat Thüringer with a strong display and French side Fleury Loiret handed a surprise defeat to Larvik.

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Rostov stay perfect and Fleury Loiret stun Larvik

Rostov Don maintained their perfect winning record after by easily beating Thüringer making it seven wins in seven for the Russian side.

Rostov Don (RUS) vs Thüringer HC (GER) 30-24 (15-7)

After suffering two defeats in a row, Thüringer would have needed a spectacular effort to turn around their run of form at Rostov Don but the home side were in no mood to let the visitors get their hopes up.

The Russian champion’s outstanding defence backed by the usual brilliance of their goalkeepers proved too strong for Thüringer to keep pace with.

Elena Slivinskaya and Ekaterina Ilina tore the visitors' defence to pieces and since the German side were restricted to just seven goals in the first half the game was completely in Rostov Don's control.

Ian Leslie, Rostov Don's head coach, said: "We played well for 40 minutes, then allowed our opponents to play better.

"However, the difference was not important for me, only victory. In the second half, I used a lot of players, as we know it is important to rotate. We look forward to the next match in Hungary and hope for a positive result."

Thüringer made good use of the home players’ lack of concentration in the second half and were the better side despite Sonja Frey and Katrina Engel's poor finishing.

Naturaly it was Ilina who ran the show scoring 10 goals from 14 shots.

The two side's scoring from seven meters also effected the final result in the Russian side's favour: Rostov Don scored from all eight attempts, Thüringer meanwhile missed four out of six.

Rostov Don's Julia Managarova said: "Seriously preparing for this match and enter the court with confidence in victory. Our fans helped us win today."

Rostov remain unbeaten after seven matches and lead Group 1. Thüringer, however, sit at the bottom of the table and their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals are hanging by a thread.

Larvik (NOR) vs Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) 26-31 (14-15)

With Baia Mare starting the main round on a high note the importance of this game was multiplied.

Fleury Loiret immediately gave proof of their intention to keep the in-form Baia Mare in sight. The visitors started well and took a comfortable lead by goals from Gnonsiane Niombla and Laura Kamdop.

It took Larvik twenty minutes and some nice saves from Alma Hasanic to leapfrog Fleury after a Nora Mörk-inspired run. However the French team re-took the lead just before the half-time whistle was blown.

Larvik struggled to get past the massive French wall and Fleury Loiret held onto their lead as Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa was on target whenever she was presented with an opportunity.

Mörk kept Larvik in sight but the Panthers were in the lead with 10 minutes to go. Mörk, who scored 11 goals, did her best to give Larvik a chance to turn the game around but the visitors’ defence worked extremely well.

There are now three teams with six points in Group 1 and one of Baia Mare, Larvik and Fleury Loiret will be eliminated.  

TEXT: Bence Mártha / gs