Glassverket and Podravka in group final with big winsArticle
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GROUP 1 REVIEW: After being eliminated by eventual runners-up in the qualification final last year the chances of the Norwegian team look brighter this time around. They will face Podravka who were evenly impressive on Saturday.

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Glassverket and Podravka in group final with big wins

Neither Glassverket nor HC Podravka Vegeta had any trouble reaching the final of Qualification Group 1.
Glassverket won their semi-final 34:23 against Ankara Yenimahalle BSK, while Podravka defeated SERCODAK Dalfsen 30:17.

  • HC Podravka Vegeta are one win from entering the Champions League group stage for the 12th time in a row
  • Glassverket are in their second Qualification Group final in succession
  • Ankara Yenimahalle are in their second Qualification tournament and the second in succession after not being able to land a win in their first attempt last year.
  • HC Podravka Vegeta came with proud Champions League traditions from the past, winning the tournament in 1996 after reaching the final they year before. Last season, the Croatian champions did not make it any further than the group matches, though.
  • SERCODAK Dalfsen are taking in their sixth Qualification tournament, so far without making it to the group matches.
  • The winner of the final Sunday will proceed to Group A of the group matches, where their opponents will be Buducnost, Thüringer HC and Metz Handball.

Glassverket (NOR) vs Ankara Yenimahalle BSK (TUR) 34:23 (15:9)

Glassverket had no problems reaching the group final, as they hosts virtually stemrolled Ankara in the first match in Drammenshallen Saturday.

Nine and half minute goal drought

It took Ankara nine minutes and 39 seconds to score the first goal of the match.

At that point, Maja Sokac reduced Glassverket's lead to 5:1 on a penalty.

The Turkish champions had ongoing problems against Glassverket's defence, and on the other end of the court, they had similar problems with the home team's back court line, while Glassverket's counter phase also became decisive as the first half progressed.

The hosts went on a 10-goal lead at 14:4, and on this background, being six goals down at half time was almost flattering for Ankara.

"We did everything expect playing handball, congrats to the young team of Glassverket," said disappointed Ankara's Polish goalkeeper Anna Maria Wysokinska.

Faithful Turkish fans

The relatively large number of Turkish fans in Drammenshallen often made themselves hear, and at the start of the second half in particular, as they sensed a chance that their team might change to course of the game.

The cheer “Ankara, Ankara” could be heard again and again, and the Turkish supporters remained faithful to their team, even though it soon became clear that their optimism was unjustified.

This time, it took Ankara five minutes and 12 seconds to score their first goal, and at that time, Glassverket were already 10 goals up again.

Glassverket soon took control of the game again and had their biggest lead at 14 goals, when the score was 28:14 in a match, in which all field players from Glassverket got their names on the scoreboard.

"We are glad that we were able to control the match from the very beginning, it took away a lot of the pressure," Glassverket's left wing Amailie Josendal said.

HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs SERCODAK Dalfsen (NED) 30:17 (13:7)

Podravka left no doubt which team were to qualify for the final from the second semi-final.
The Croatian champions were dominating their Dutch adversaries all the way to a 13 goal win.

Croatian dominance from the start

The Dutch fans equipped with horns and loud voices were not able to help their heroines avoid a big defeat, and neither was Dalfsen coach Peter Portengen's attempts with a more aggressive defence for parts of the match.

His players were not physically strong enough to perform a real threat to their opponents, who were just as superiour in the attack as in the defence.

The Podravka team, which consists entirely of Croatian players, had the initiative from the start, and despite two shots on the woodwork and a missed penalty, they were able to increase their lead from 4:3 to 8:3 torwards the middle of the first half, and after a six goal lead at half time, they continued where they left off in the last 30 minutes.

Red cards were no problem

During the second half, Podravka had their squad reduced by two players, as Ana Debelic and Selena Milosevic both got their third two minutes suspension.

However, this did not bother the Croatian champions either.

They just continued to increase their lead, their left back Marijeta Vidak enjoying the evening in particular and being top scorer with nine goals.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br