Astrakhanochka sweep Leipzig aside in successful debutArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: The Russian champions Astrakhanochka start their maiden campaign in the Women’s EHF Champions League with a win against Germany’s HC Leipzig

Astrakhanochka sweep Leipzig aside in successful debut

The Russian debutant from Astrakhan beat Germany’s HC Leipzig in their first ever game in the EHF Champions League 27:24. Thanks to this victory, the Russian team currently tops the Group B as HC Vardar and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria split the points (27:27) on Friday.

•    Astrakhanochka earned a victory in their first ever Champions League match

•    The Russian champions top the Group B with two points

•    Karina Sisenova was Astrakhanochka’s top scorer with seven goals, while Karolina
•    Kudlacz-Gloc was the best in Leipzig, also with seven goals.

•    Both teams will play their next matches away: Astrakhanochka against FTC in Budapest, and HC Leipzig against  Vardar in Skopje


Astrakhanochka (RUS) vs HC Leipzig (GER) 27:24 (13:9)

The team from Astrakhan has never played in the Champions League before; combined with the departure of 12 players in the summer, this made Astrakhanochka a supposed outsider in Group B. Yet the team coached by Mikhail Seregin started their campaign with a successful performance against HC Leipzig.

Trusova brilliant in goal

Karolina Kudlacz-Gloс quickly put the more experienced German side in front, but it proved to be only goal scored by Leipzig during the first nine minutes. The visitors were not efficient in their attacks, and Astrakhanochka’s goalkeeper Kira Trusova made a number of excellent saves.

Even if the Russian team lacked experience, they made up for it with their fighting spirit and commitment. However, after 10 minutes the visitors started to come back into the game. Leipzig first drew level at 5:5 and later went in front by one goal.

But the Astrakhanochka players were not about to give up. They fully dominated the last minutes of the half, having scored five times in a row and transformed the score 8:9 into a much more pleasing 13:9.

Young hosts were not timid

The game pattern did not change a lot after the break. The young players from Astrakhan were more lively and energetic, and they constantly found gaps in the Leipzig defense.

Only two Astrakhanochka players, Kira Trusova and Liudmila Postnova, had a previous experience of playing in the Champions League. But their teammates, most of whom are just 18-22 years old, were not timid in their debut in this top-flight competition and showed once again that the Russian handball has large reserves of talent.

The host team was in a three-to-five-goal lead throughout practically the whole second half. Only a couple of minutes before the final whistle, Leipzig slashed the gap to 25:23 and then 26:24. Yet Astrakhanochka had a final word as they scored the last goal of the game in the dying seconds.

Karina Sisenova scored the most goals for Astrakhanochka (seven), and Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc was the top scorer for Leipzig with the same amount.

Post-match comments

Mikhail Seregin coach of Astrakhanochka spoke after their win: "Leipzig are very strong, they fought right to the end. For us this is a very important victory because it was our debut game in the Champions League."

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / bc