A weekend for the debutantsArticle
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TALKING POINTS: Round 3 has brought a lot to cheer for several newcomers in the Women’s EHF Champions League: coach Dragan Djukic started his mission at CSM with a win, and debutants Odense earned their first ever victory
»2018-19 Women's News

A weekend for the debutants

The Women’s EHF Champions League has reached the halfway mark of the group matches. Round 3 has left us with a lot to reflect on - from debutant’s successes to another steal of the week.

Here are the five main talking points:

1. Win for debutant Djukic

The much debated coaching change at CSM Bucuresti last week was obviously a key attention point during the weekend. A few days after replacing Magnus Johansson, new head coach Dragan Djukic got his stint at the Romanian side off to a winning start.

It was not without trouble, but at the end, he and his players could celebrate a 29:27 away win against Vipers Kristiansand, enough to bring CSM back to first place in Group D.

2. First win for Danish debutants

Women’s EHF Champions League debutants Odense HC don’t have to wait any longer for their maiden victory in Europe’s top flight. Even without key player Stine Jørgensen - the Danish international is out for approximately eight weeks with a knee injury - Odense won 33:25 away against Larvik HK in Group A.

Brilliant goalkeeping by Althea Reinhardt and Tess Wester and excellent playmaking by Mie Højlund in the attack were the main factors behind the huge Danish win in this Scandinavian derby.

3. Brest also claim first win… after nine matches

While Odense needed just three attempts to bag their first win, Brest Bretagne Handball needed nine.

Last season, the French club made their debut in the competition but lost all group matches. This season, they opened Group B with another defeat (32:28 against Kobenhavn Handball), but things have gone better since.

Brest earned their first point against least season’s Women’s EHF FINAL4 participants Rostov-Don (29:29) a week ago, and they finally added their first victory this weekend.

And they have done so in style, with a double-digit win (39:27) over IK Sävehof in Sweden.

4. Another ‘steal of the week’

No round in the EHF Women’s Champions League without a decisive steal.

Last weekend, Aniko Kovaciscs intercepted the ball in the closing seconds and scored to give FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria a 27:26 home win against Vipers Kristiansand in Group D.

This time, Tjasa Stanko interrupted a pass for a fast break and secure her team RK Krim Mercator a 27:27 draw at Podravka Vegeta in Group C.

5. Only three undefeated teams left

Round 3 has reduced the number of undefeated teams in the competition from five to three. And only one team has not lost a point yet.

Title holders Györi Audi ETO KC keep dominating Group C, adding their second 16-goal win (38:22 against Thüringer HC) of the season for their third straight victory.

The only other team which had not lost a point going into Round 3, Kobenhavn Handball, suffered their first defeat as the Danish champions went down 27:21 at home against Rostov-Don, now the only undefeated team in Group B.

Alongside Györ and Rostov, Metz Handball are the third undefeated team. The French side won a thriller 25:24 against Buducnost in Group A, but - like Rostov - had already dropped a point earlier in the competition.

In Group D, SG BBM Bietigheim lost their unbeaten status after a 28:25 home defeat against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / ew