Malaga win Spanish derbyArticle
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SEMI-FINAL REVIEW: Some excellent goalkeeping by Mercedes Castellanos helped Malaga earn an away win against fellow Spanish team Atletico Guardes

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The only first-leg semi-final of the EHF European Cup Women played during this weekend was an all-Spanish tie.

On Sunday, Rincon Fertilidad Malaga made a big step towards the final, beating Club Balonman Atletico Guardes away from home, 23:18.

Club Balonman Atletico Guardes (ESP) vs Rincon Fertilidad Malaga (ESP) 18:23 (10:13)

  •  both teams reached the semi-final of an European club competition for the first time in their history
  • after Malaga‚Äôs Almudena Gutieres opened the score, her team were in the lead throughout the match, never allowing the home side even to draw level
  • Erika Rajnohova, the Slovak centre back from Atletico Guardes, became a top scorer of this encounter with only four goals
  • the first match of the other semi-final tie, Yalikavaksports Club vs HC Lokomotiva Zagreb, was postponed
  • the second-leg games are scheduled for next Saturday, 3 April

Castellanos stood like a wall

Even though Malaga claimed a confident away victory, no player really stood out in their attack, as six of them ended the game with three goals.

However, goalkeeper Mercedes Castellanos, who joined Malaga from Super Amara Bera Bera last summer, was a true heroine of the day. The 32-year-old recorded 16 saves for an impressive 59 per cent save rate and lifted her team to a victory.

TEXT: Sergey