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03.11.2008, 10:32
CL summary: Women’s Round 1
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The opening round of the Women's CL saw close matches and victories decided in the last minutes. Read our complete summary.
 

CL summary: Women’s Round 1

Both Russian teams – Lada and defending champion Zvezda – lost their first matches. In contrast, two of the three Danish teams – Viborg and Ikast – took their first points. Hypo, Krim, Buducnost, Valcea, Koprivnica and Győr also started with victories.

Group A
Ikast – Zvezda 31:25 (16:10)
Kometal – Győr 21:24 (10:13)

Görbicz was in top form in SkopjePerfect start for Ikast; bad news for the newly defending champion Zvezda: 20 goals from the strong Ikast backcourt players Nyberg, Sjöberg and Hammerseng were two much for the Russians. Zvezda will have to struggle now to reach the main round.

Ikast’s Isabel Blanco was excellent in defence and the Danes proved willing to win the game. The first half-time was the best performance of Ikast of the season. Nobody knew what would happen when the Russians came out of the cabin. But thanks to Nyberg, the match was decided after 40 minutes as Ikast were leading with a ten-goal difference (21:11). Even as Zvezda, led by Elena Polenova, closed the gap, Ikast were strong enough to stay on the winning track. The top scorer of Zvezda was Polenova, Poltoratskaya and Vetkova with five goals each.

With the extraordinary performance of former World Player of the Year Anita Görbicz, Győr took both points from Skopje. Görbicz led her team with eleven goals to the first victory. In addition, goalkeeper Katalin Pálinger and Romanian international Aurelia Bradeanu gave a big contribution to the 24:21 final result. Kometal fought hard in front of 2 000 spectators, but Győr were in the lead throughout the whole match and deserved the two points after a close game. The best scorer of Skopje was Amorim with five goals.

Group B
FCK Copenhagen – Hypo Niederösterreich 27:28 (13:13)
Buducnost T-Mobile – Elda Prestigio 28:26 (16:11)

Hypo won against the debutantsIn a duel between a debutant squad and the record champions from Austria, the latter won. However, Hypo had to fight hard until the very last seconds to overcome the club of Anja Andersen. Copenhagen started well with 4:1 and could keep the distance until 9:4. Hypo then came closer and equalised right before the break. Thanks to the Brazilian Nascimento (8 goals) and the Korean Oh (5) Hypo turned the game in the second half. 

But FCK never gave up. In the final stage of the match the German Maren Baumbach (scoring six goals) reduced the distance to 26:27, but Hypo decided the match in the very last minute.

“It’s not a shame to lose your first ever Champions League match. We are here to learn,” Andersen said after the match. “We hope to win against Elda now,” she added. The top scorer of FCK was Tanja Milanovic with nine goals.

4 000 spectators in Podgorica could not lay back until the final whistle as Buducnost earned two very important points. The Montenegrins played a very strong first half taking a five-goal lead. The Spanish champions came closer with every minute after the break. Buducnost couldn’t stop Soit, who scored 12 times for Elda. In the end this wasn’t enough, even as the gap was reduced to 24:25 with three minutes before the end. Buducnost were strong and with the 20 goals of Radicevic (7), Jovanovic and Bulatovic (each 6) they started with two points.

Group C
Podravka Vegeta – HC Lada 30:27 (13:12)
Oltchim Valcea - Larvik HK 33:29 (16:17)

Dokic was impressive on her first gameLada start badly by losing a tense opener in Podravka. The Croatians took two points from a mostly equal match thanks to their better performance in the final minutes. The Russian champion made too many technical mistakes and Podravka could build on the eight goals of Ana Dokic and the good saves of Ungureanu in the goal.

Podravka played faster and were in the lead with three goals in second half. The Russians equalised several times, but in the 53rd minute it seemed that Podravka would seal the game at 26:22. Though Lada came back to 27:26, the Croats made the first step to the main round. The best Lada scorers were Gruzdena and Nikitina with six goals each.

Ten goals of the Olympics gold medallist Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth were not enough for Larvik to win a game in Valcea. The Norwegians were the better team in the first half, but after the second suspension against Löke at 21:19 for Larvik, Valcea scored four goals in a row. At the end the Romanians won comfortably.  In the 49th minute Larvik equalised for the last time, but the Romanian champions, led by top scorer Meirosu (eight goals), kept calm in the hot atmosphere and secured the first victory in Group C.

Group D
Metz – Viborg HK 24:37 (13:17)
1. FC Nürnberg – Krim Mercator 25:29 (18:15)

Metz could not make a miracleViborg were the favourites in France for the Group D opening game. This was a high class performance by the Danes on the court of Metz.

At the end of the game Metz player Svetlana Ognjenovic said: “The difference between the two teams was not 13 goals”. Nevertheless, the Danish champions proved that they are a strong team with nearly all players scoring goals. Grit Jurack was the most prolific with six goals. After quite a close first half, Metz had no chance against Viborg. It was already ten goals for the guests in the 46th minute and Viborg could even increase the difference until the end.

“Metz played well for 20 minutes, but in the end we were mentally stronger and had a psychological advantage,” Viborg coach Jakob Vestergaard said. Metz top scorers were Ognjenovic and Kanto with five goals each.

Krim walked away with two pointsWith only seven goals in the second half Nürnberg didn’t have a chance to win their first CL match of the season. Even as they showed their best performance of the season before the break, the 2 200 supporters did not have a hope that their newly built team can beat Krim having a better second string.

The star of the Slovenians was the unstoppable Andrea Lekic who was on target 13 times. Nürnberg never stopped fighting, but made to many mistakes in attack. Their top scorers were Rohde and Walzik with six goals each. “I’m very satisfied with this important victory as we didn’t know before the match what our rank in Europe could be after changing so many players,” Krim coach Marta Bon said.

Her team decided the game in the final stage with a 6:2 series and stroke back for Nürnberg stealing a point last season.

Previous summaries:

Men's match day 1
Men's match day 2
Men's match day 3


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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