Hard-fought wins for Bucharest and LarvikArticle
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GROUP 2 REVIEW: Bucharest survived a late comeback from Krim to take their first win in the Main Round, 24:21, while Larvik bested FCM in an epic Nordic clash, 24:22

Hard-fought wins for Bucharest and Larvik

It was not a convincing win for CSM Bucuresti, but if the Romanian side continues to play like they did in the first half, their opponents will surely have an eye on them.

The Romanian side enjoyed a near-perfect first half, but RK Krim Mercator cut their seven-goal lead to only one goal with ten minutes to go, as Bucharest won their first Main Round game this season, 24:21.

FC Midtjylland have yet to win this season in an away game. The Danish side collapsed in the second half against Larvik. The Norwegian side enjoyed a chance for redemption after an error-prone first half where FCM had led, 11:9.                                  

  • Krim lost their second game in a row in the Main Round phase, after the 39:22 defeat against Györ last week

  • Bucharest are still in the hunt for a quarter-final berth, as the Romanian side will host Esbjerg next week

  • After a slow start, Amanda Kurtovic helped Larvik get the win, with a 9-goal performance

  • FCM are still without an away win this season in the Women’s EHF Champions League and will host Krim next week


RK Krim Mercator (SLO) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU) 21:24 (9:14)

It was not the season that anyone expected for title-holders CSM Bucuresti, but there was little time to worry for the Romanian champions.

The game against Krim could be a wake-up call for the title holders, just like the quarter-final double against Rostov last year, which inspired Bucharest to go all the way for their first European title ever.

With the future of the season hanging over their heads, Bucharest’s players understood that the games’ importance. They enjoyed an amazing start, jumping to a 5:0 lead.

An impressive defence, which Bucharest lacked previously in the season, was responsible for stopping Krim. The Slovenian side only scored their first goal after 9 and a half minutes.

No chance for Krim in the first half

After a flurry of turnovers and bad passes from Krim, they appeared to have no viable solution to replace their best player, Elisabeth Omoregie. She was absent through injury, and this meant that Bucharest could dictate the game’s direction. The Romanian side continued to boast an impressive lead, 11:4, after the first 16 minutes.

Majda Mehmedovic continued to run riot around Krim’s defence, scoring at will- a total of five times in the first half. Nevertheless, the Slovenian side slowly got back into the game and finished the first 30 minutes with a five-goal deficit, 14:9.

No rest for Bucharest fans

But the “Jekyll and Hyde” appearance that haunted Bucherest this season could also be seen in Ljubljana, as they only scored their first goal after six minutes in the second half. Krim by that time had cut their lead to only three goals, 14:11.

While Bucharest continued to have brilliant moments, Krim managed to stay within touching distance, and the Slovenian side had a 5:0 run until it they were one goal down, 20:19, with 10 minutes to go.

But it was ultimately Krim’s lack of depth that was the hosts’ undoing. Bucharest’s offensive prowess, especially Isabelle Gullden, decided the game.

Vasile Adrian, assistant coach for Bucharest, thought Bucharest's performance was best in the second half of this crucial match: ˝We done our best in second half. I think we had good oppourtunities and we went for the win. We need to win every match because we started round 2 with only two points.˝

With a 24:21 win, Bucharest now have five points and could move up into the table next week if they win against Esbjerg. Krim are now fourth, with six points, and will play against FC Midtjylland next week.

Larvik (NOR) vs FC Midtjylland (DEN) 24:22 (9:11)

After a successful group stage, FC Midtjylland enjoyed a flawless start to the Main Round last weekend. They had a convincing win against Esbjerg- the team that took the Danish title from them last spring.

But for FCM to start to contemplate a Final Four berth, Kristian Kristiansen’s side needed to start picking up points from their away game, something that they were not able to do against Györ, Bucharest and Rostov in the previous phase of the European top flight competition.

Amazing Jörgensen on top again

However, it was not the error-free game that one could have expected between these two Nordic teams that previously impressed with their attacking prowess and speed.

It was Larvik in particular who could not find their rhythm. It seemed as if they were practically picking up where they left off in the last two and a half minutes of their last game against Bucharest, when the Norwegian side blew a three goal advantage to earn only one point.

There were only six goals scored by the hosts in the first 24 minutes. They had a poor 37% shot efficiency, as Amanda Kurtovic and Line Riegelhuth-Koren missed several shots.

Therefore, it was no surprise that FCM was the team who led the game. But the Danish side could not get far ahead from their opponents, managing only a maximum two-goal lead, 8:6, after 21 minutes.

While Larvik tried to mount a comeback, FCM quickly got up and running again. Stine Jörgensen, who continued her amazing form in the Main Round phase, scored five goals in the first half, and saw that the Danish side take a 11:9 lead into half time.

Larvik kept their cool in the dying minutes

A 5:1 run started the second half, in which Larvik were efficient in attack, saw the Norwegian side taking the lead for the first time in the 37th minute. 

Both teams continued to improve their attacking efficiency, as Kurtovic and Jörgensen started to trade goals, with Larvik holding on, having an18:17 lead, when there were less than 15 minutes to go.

A well-taken Kristian Kristensen timeout saw FCM take the lead in the 50th minute, after a 3:0 run spurred by Burgaard.

But Larvik’s best players on Saturday, Amanda Kurtovic (9 goals) and Marit Malm Frafjord (6 goals), joined forces in the last 5 minutes for three goals, as a 4:1 run was enough for the hosts to claim another win, 24:22.

Therefore, Larvik are now second, with seven points, one point ahead of FCM, who will host Krim next week, with the Norwegian side preparing for a trip to Hungary, where they will meet the group leaders, Györ.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu/kc