Fast start lifts Esbjerg past PodravkaArticle
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GROUP A REVIEW: Esbjerg enjoyed their third win of the season, 27:26, despite a late comeback attempt from Podravka

Boasting only 11 players on the team sheet due to a slew of injuries, Team Esbjerg withstood a fightback in the second half from HC Podravka Vegeta to claim a 27:26 victory in group A of the DELO EHF Champions League. 

HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN) 26:27 (9:15)

  • with Podravka needing eight minutes and 23 seconds to score their first goal, Esbjerg jumped to an 8:3 lead after 15 minutes
  • missing their two best scorers, Henny Reistad and Mette Tranborg, who combined for 39 goals in the first four rounds, Esbjerg still stood their ground
  • Norwegian back Kristine Breistøl, the game’s top scorer with eight goals, had her best outing since the 2015/16 season, when she scored 13 goals in a game for Larvik HK
  • with three wins, one draw and one loss, this is Esbjerg’s best start to a DELO EHF Champions League season
  • Esbjerg, who boast a 44.4 per cent win efficiency, became the 26th side to win at least 20 games in Europe's top competition

A tale of two halves for Esbjerg

Esbjerg had only nine court players due to a slew of injuries, but they still snatched a win against Podravka, who extended their losing streak to four games.

Esbjerg goalkeeper Rikke Poulsen saved nine shots in the first half – but Esbjerg’s goalkeepers did not save a single shot in the second half. Although the Danish side's lack of depth could have been their undoing, the advantage from the first half was enough to help them seal a one-goal win.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu