CSM shock Rostov once againArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: CSM Bucuresti beat the Russian outfit once again, this time in Russia, and qualify for the Women’s EHF FINAL4

CSM shock Rostov once again

In their first season in the competition, CSM Bucuresti have advanced to the Women's EHF FINAL4 after beating Rostov-Don for the second time.

A week ago in Bucharest, the Romanian side won by a small margin (26:25), and now Kim Rasmussen’s team did the same in Rostov, this time with a 29:28 score line.

Quarter-final, 2nd leg

Rostov-Don (RUS) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROM) 28:29 (11:16)

Despite the defeat in Romania, Rostov-Don players felt confident and considered themselves favorites ahead of the return leg.

Their hopes of advancing to the FINAL4 were based on their home support as well as their memories of two group stages where they won eleven out of twelve games.

But the quarter-final games proved to be quite a different story.

Rostov fans tried hard to support the host team, but Jan Leslie’s players obviously felt the pressure in their most important match of the season.
And the guests, who had taken only taken fourth place in their Main Round group, felt confident after a home win.

They realised that Rostov were not as unbeatable as a lot of people seemed to think, and they managed to build on their home success.

The Romanian team enjoyed a better start, leading 5:2 in the 9th minute.

CSM controlled the game and did not give away the initiative during the first half, which they eventually won 16:11.

Isabelle Gullden was brilliant in front of goal, while Rostov’s attacks were not nearly as efficient.

In Bucharest, the main problem for CSM was stopping Ekaterina Ilina, Rostov’s top scorer in the Women’s Champions League.

This time, she was the best again, especially in the second half, scoring eight goals altogether.

But her teammates were not as prolific in their duels against CSM’s Brazilian goalkeeper Mayssa Pessoa, and Ana Paula Rodrigues Belo, who was CSM’s top scorer with seven goals.

The Romanian team was leading by five, six and seven goals for the most part of the second half, and this advantage made them feel quite secure.

Only in the last ten minutes or so did Rostov improve and reduced the gap.

At 29:27 two minutes from time, they had their last desperate chance, but Mayssa Pessoa stopped Maya Petrova’s shot.

Ekaterina Ilina then scored a penalty throw right before the end, but that only slightly sweetened the bitter pill the ambitious Rostov players will have to swallow.

In a duel of two Danish coaches, Jan Leslie lost to Kim Rasmussen, and his CSM players’ joy after the game was enormous, and they fully deserved their success.

Jan Leslie head coach of Rostov-Don was "very disappointed. We had a huge chance to win and get to the FINAL4.

"But we lost two games by one goal."

Leslie felt the slow start was their downfall: "Today the first half was crucial; our girls did their best in the second though, and I have no regrets.

"Unfortunately, we have no experience of performing on such a level.”

The victorious Ekaterina Vetkova of CSM Bucuresti, felt the pressure going into today's game: "We regarded it as a last chance.

"In the Main Round we lost many games and we were fourth in the group. But we played much better today."

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / bc