Confident Rostov hope to recoverArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW: After the defeat in Bucharest, the Russian champion Rostov-Don will try to take revenge on CSM Bucuresti on home court and to qualify for the Women's EHF FINAL4.

Confident Rostov hope to recover

The first defeat in Europe this season was quite painful for Rostov-Don as it finished their twelve-game unbeaten streak. Yet, the Russian side exudes confidence before the return leg which will take place on 9 April in Rostov.

Rostov-Don (RUS) vs. CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Saturday 9 March, 17.00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Before the first leg, the record of Rostov-Don in this Women's EHF Champions League season was nearly perfect. Jan Leslie's team had had a balance of eleven wins and one draw in the twelve matches held in two group stages.

After such an impressive performance, a lot was expected from Rostov in the quarter-final. But in Bucharest, the Russian team disappointed their fans by losing 25:26 in a tight battle.

Jan Leslie dismissed the idea that his players might have underestimated the opponent - CSM Bucuresti finished only on the fourth place of Group 2 in the Main Round.

"We knew that the game would be tight and that the Romanian team have lots of good players in their squad. We were leading in the second half in Bucharest, but missed some good chances and let the opponent come back into the game," Jan Leslie told the official site of the Russian champions.

Yet, the Danish coach has no doubts that his players have enough quality to advance to the Women's EHF FINAL4.

"At home it will be easier. The defeat in Bucharest actually did us some good. Probably at some point we got carried away. But now we have every chance to win. The plan is simple: we play 60 minutes on the highest level. Hopefully, people will write on Sunday that we shock Bucharest by beating them."

Rostov's right wing Iuliia Managarova seconds her coach: "I fully agree with Jan. It was good to play the first leg abroad. Now we can watch the video and analyse our mistakes. I think we will play the home game much more confidently."

Two coaching Danes locking horns

The matches between Rostov-Don and CSM Bucuresti feature an exciting duel of two Danish coaches. Jan Leslie opposes his fellow countryman Kim Rasmussen, the head coach of the Romanian side.

Being happy with the result in Bucharest, Rasmussen does not want to stop there and hopes to upset the Russian outfit once more.

"We are going to fight. It will be hard, Rostov play at home now, and the pressure will be on us. The fans' support will help them just like it helped us in Romania. But we will fight," the Dane promised.

In the first leg, Rasmussen's players did not manage to stop Ekaterina Ilina, Rostov's playmaker who scored nine goals and who was the best player of her team. CSM's coach hopes to find an antidote against the Russian star.

"We will make some corrections for the second leg, especially in central defence. Ilina should not move around so easily. If we succeed in this, we have more chances to qualify," he says.

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / es