Larvik clinch quarter-final berthArticle
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GROUP 1 REVIEW: The Norwegian powerhouse comfortably defeated FTC to qualify for the next stage, while Rostov-Don recorded a huge win against Fleury Loiret.

Larvik clinch quarter-final berth

Larvik not only managed to beat FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in Round 5 of the Women’s EHF Champions League on Saturday, but did so by a larger margin than in their defeat in Budapest to book their place in the quarter-final. The Norwegian’s victory eliminated Fleury Loiret Handball from any chance of a quarter-final berth, but the final ranking of the group will be decided in the last round.

Rostov-Don (RUS) vs Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) 38:21 (21:12)

Fleury Loiret knew they would have to end Rostov-Don’s perfect home record if they wanted to keep control of their fate. But the home team, who had already sealed their group win before the clash as they comfortably lead on the table, were in no mood for charity.

Anna Sedoykina replaced Katrine Lunde in goal and made great saves behind the massive Russian wall, which proved too strong for the visitors to cope with.

The twelve goals the visitors scored in the first half compared with 21 for Rostov-Don seemed a meagre result, but the first period turned out to be the best of the two for the French side as they only found the net nine time after the break.

The Russian team’s dominance was so obvious Fleury seemed to give up fighting after 20 minutes and, similar to their heavy defeat at FTC, made it easy for their opponents to humble the champion French side.

Rostov showed no mercy, tearing the vistitors’ defence to pieces thanks to leading scorers Ekaterina Ilina (nine goals), Iuliia Managarova (seven) and Regina Shymkute (five).

When the final whistle blew, the score board showed that Jan Leslie’s team scored as many goals in the first half as Fleury did in the entire game.


“I’m very proud of my team. The first 25 minutes were great, but at the end of the first half we made several mistakes,” said Leslie.

“Fortunately, in the second half we did our best. Sometimes our advantage was 15 points, so I gave opportunities to all our players. I want to say thank you to our supporters, they helped us to win.”

Larvik (NOR) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) 37:31 (20:15)

Larvik had the firm goal of clinching a quarter-final berth with a win ahead of the match against FTC. It was to be a battle but after the first fifteen minutes Larvik began to take advantage of the faltering FTC attacks, which were a clear result of the tough Norwegian defence and the exceptional Alma Grizovic in goal, and started to leave the visitors behind.

As usual, Nora Mörk was the protagonist, but Larvik ultimately got the better of FTC as a team. There were better periods for the visitors when they threatened to minimise the margin with goals from Luca Szekerczes and Nerea Pena, but Larvik still kept the game under firm control.

The home side’s attacks led by Mörk and Tine Stange proved too much for the visitors as Larvik comfortably decided the fate of the two points long before the final whistle.

Larvik, HCM Baia Mare and FTC now all have 10 points, with Larvik to play at Fleury and FTC to host Baia Mare in the last of the season’s main round matches next weekend.

TEXT: Bence Martha / cg