Glassverket ready for first Champions League adventureArticle
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GROUP 1 REVIEW: Glassverket defeat HC Podravka Vegeta by nine goals to qualify for their first ever EHF Champions League group phase.

Glassverket ready for first Champions League adventure

The fairy tale came true in Drammenshallen, as Glassverket defeated HC Podravka Vegeta 28:19 to qualify for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2016/17 Group Matches – a first for the Norwegian club.

Ankara Yenimahalle BSK came in third in the group following their 31:22 win against SERCODAK Dalfsen.

•    Glassverket are in the Women´s Champions League Group Matches for the first time in history while Podravka are missing the group stage for the first time in 11 years
•    Glassverket is the second Norwegian team in the Group Matches this season, alongside already-qualified Larvik
•    Glassverket will play in Group A, facing Buducnost, Thüringer HC and Metz Handball
•    Ankara recorded their first ever win in the EHF Champions League, after losing both matches in their qualification group in Romania last year
•    Dalfsen dropped one position compared to their third place in the 2015/16 qualification tournament, also in Drammen
•    Podravka, Ankara and Dalfsen all continue their European campaign in the qualifiers for the Women’s EHF Cup

Glassverket (NOR) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) 28:19 (12:12)

Glassverket made history with a performance very few believed possible. The Drammen-based team qualified for the Group Matches after completely dominating the second half of the Qualification final against Podravka.

Strong defence against patient attack

From the start, Podravka had considerable trouble against a movable and heroically fighting Glassverket defence. The Croatians only managed to score twice in the first 10 minutes, and the hosts benefitted from their solid defence and a strong right side in attack that helped them create several four-goal leads.

However, with increasingly patient attacking play, Podravka decreased the score line until Dora Krsnik made it 12:12 right on the half-time buzzer.

Effective counter attacks

Dragica Dzono opened the second half by giving Podravka their first lead at 13:12, but that was to be their only advantage in the match.

An even more aggressive Glassverket defence in front of an improving Guro Rundbraten in goal resulted in a series of successful counter attacks for the hosts, while a more inventive established attacking pattern also contributed to the Norwegians outrunning and outplaying their opponents as the second half progressed.

Ankara Yenimahalle BSK (TUR) vs SERCODAK Dalfsen (NED) 31:22 (17:12)

Ankara left no doubt on the court in the match for third position in Drammenshallen on Sunday afternoon. The Turkish champions led from the first whistle to the last in their nine-goal win against the Dutch title holders, who therefore finished last in the group.

Ankara far more efficient

It is difficult to win a handball game with 18 technical mistakes and a scoring efficiency equal to success on less than a third of your attacks, as Dalfsen had to learn on Sunday afternoon in Drammenshallen. Ankara turned out to be the far more efficient team, and were well in control throughout the 60 minutes.

A direct red card for line player Jill Kooij as early as the first half did not make things better for the Dutch team, but her disqualification was naturally not the only reason for the decisive defeat.

An equal match for 12 minutes

The match was equal for the first 12 minutes, but that was as long as Dalfsen were able to keep up with their opponents. At that point the score was 6:6, and from there Ankara pulled ahead to 11:6 and did not look back for the rest of the match.

Dalfsen were allowed a little hope when they reduced the deficit to 12:16 shortly before half-time, but it did not take Ankara long to extend their lead again, being 10 goals up at 30:20 when the distance was its highest.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg