Outstanding back court takes Esbjerg to top of Group DArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: Former IK Sävehof keeper Idéhn and back players shine as Team Esbjerg record their second win in their debut EHF Champions League.

Outstanding back court takes Esbjerg to top of Group D

Together with the back court players, former IK Sävehof goalkeeper Filippa Idéhn played a crucial part as Team Esbjerg took their second win out of two matches by defeating the home side 25:20 in Partille Arena.

•    Sävehof’s first Women’s EHF Champions League match in the new Partille Arena ends in a defeat
•    Champions League debutants Esbjerg are alone on top of the group with four points after two matches
•    The three back court players Laura van der Heijden, Jenny Alm and Estavana Polman scored 22 of Esbjerg’s 25 goals

IK Sävehof (SWE) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN) 20:25 (10:15)

Far better start for Esbjerg

Esbjerg stunned the home team from the first whistle, as reliable defence in front of former Sävehof goalkeeper Filippa Idéhn laid the foundation for a clear early lead for the visitors.

In the Danish team’s attack, back court players van der Heijden, Alm and Polman were all equally dangerous.

"Two former Sävehof players are behind our win and I am not surprised," said Esbjerg head coach Lars Frederiksen. "Jenny Alm's shots and Filippa Idehn's saves gave us a great start, even a lead as big as eight goals at a time in the first half. Filippa has not started so many games, but I knew this was a game for her and we won two very important points."

After just 11 and a half minutes, Sävehof coach Henrik Signell found it necessary to call his second time-out, at which point Esbjerg were already leading 8:2 – but the second pause seemed to help.

The Sävehof defence intensified their physical efforts and at the other end, their attacking players had more success against Idéhn than at the start. The stronger last 18 minutes enabled the hosts to go to half-time with a relatively modest five-goal deficit.

Success with more aggressive defence

From the start of the second half, Sävehof troubled their opponents by moving their defence a forward. This caused certain problems for Esbjerg’s back court line, and Sävehof managed to reduce the distance further.

With nine minutes left, Jamina Roberts decreased the deficit to just two goals at 19:21, but that was as close as the home side would come.

The last minutes belonged to Esbjerg, and as Idéhn continued her stellar performance, the guests extended their lead to again, finishing with a five-goal advantage.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg