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16.02.2009, 12:06
Women's summary: Main Round Day 2
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The second weekend of the Women's Main Round brought no major surprises, but shows the power relations a bit better. Read the summary of the weekend.
 

Women's summary: Main Round Day 2

Three teams are already straight on the way to the semi-finals: Hypo and Viborg dominate group I with two victories, Győr remained spotless in Group II.

After sacking coach Ivica Rimanic in the middle of the week, Valcea took their first points in the main round against Krim with new coach Radu Voina.

Group I

Hypo Niederösterreich – Ikast-Brande 32:24 (20:10)
Full length
Highlights

The usual movement from PiedadeHypo Niederösterreich is – like Viborg – on the right track towards the semi-finals. After a close away victory against Koprivnica, the Austrians showed a great performance in their first main round home match against Ikast. The Danes remain without a point after two matches.

Hypo (now 4:0 points) decided the match in the first 30 minutes when they were in lead with a ten goal difference. Ikast were unable to catch up in the second half.

“We need surprises to reach the semi-finals, but we have to realise that Hypo and Viborg seem to be too strong for us,” Ikast coach Kenneth Jensen said after the clear defeat.

As Hypo dominated the game completely, it was obvious for Jensen that his team are much weaker when Gro Hammerseng can’t play. The World Player of the Year missed the match due to a knee injury. In the first half, Hypo defence stood well and every Ikast fault was punished by counter attacks. Especially Hypo goalkeeper Sabine Englert, who will change to Ikast next season, played a brilliant match. After the break Ikast tried to come closer, but Hypo was experienced enough to keep the distance.

Viborg HK – Podravka Vegeta 32:26 (15:10)
Full length
Highlights

An outstanding Bojana Popovic was the match winner for Viborg in the other game of the Group. She scored 10 goals against Podravka and the Croatians didn’t have a chance against the Danish champions.

Viborg had a strong defence with Lunde Haraldsen in the goal. After 7:7 Viborg scored five consecutive goals and after they switched Podravka top players off, Todorovska and Penezic, they extended their lead goal by goal.

As Podravka concentrated on Popovic after the break, there was more space for Grit Jurack, who was key player again. But the biggest star was Popovic.

Popovic gives credit to the defence: “We were solid in defence, but in attack we missed too many chances. Otherwise we could have won with a much bigger difference.”

VHK coach Jacob Vestergaard was highly satisfied with the match – and with Popovic:

“She played very well, in some parts of the match she was our only effective offence player. But in the end we could have scored more often. Now we have to see what will happen on Friday in our match at Hypo. The winning team will be through to the semi-finals. And we’re going to win there.”

Group II

Győri ETO – Buducnost T-Mobile 31:27 (15:14)
Full length
Highlights

By improving after the break, Győr won their second match in the main round and remain number one in Group II. But it was a hard fight for the Hungarians to beat Podgorica that have two points after beating Valcea a week ago.

Buducnost, led by an outstanding Bulatovic (12 goals), started well and took a 5:1 lead. Győr woke up. At 8:7 the host took the lead – but the match was very close even until mid second half.

The three best players of Győr decided the match: Görbicz (12) and Tomori (9) hit the net 21 times together, and Pálinger improved in the goal. In the very end the gap became bigger and Buducnost didn’t have the power to stop the Hungarians.

“We knew that it would be very tough match and that we would have to fight until the end. But we kept calm and didn’t hassle. So we won two very important points against a strong opponent,” Győr coach Csaba Konkoly said.

Oltchim Valcea – Krim Mercator 36:30 (18:13)

New broom sweeps wellNew coach, new motivation: Valcea are back on track after losing in Podgorica.

By being in lead for 60 minutes against Krim, the Romanians took a well-deserved victory that keeps the door to the semi-finals wide open. For Krim it will be a very tough struggle to reach the next stage after two defeats.

2,500 spectators saw a highly motivated and concentrated team of Valcea that tried to decide the match very early. Even at halftime the gap was five goals and after the break the Romanians didn’t have much problem to remain in this comfortable position.

Two days before the match, the club Oltchim had sacked coach Ivica Rimanic. His successor is Radu Voina, the head coach of the national team. He was very satisfied with his first impressions after the match against Krim:

“I didn’t have much time with the girls, but it was necessary to change something. I think we’re on the right way and I want to help the club to reach the semi-final.”

Marta Bon, the coach of Krim, said:

“It’s always very hard to play in Valcea because of the frenetic crowd. We played very weakly in the first half and tried to reduce the gap, but we failed. I think Győr and Valcea are the best teams of this group.”


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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