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31.03.2013, 09:00
Barbosa: "We always believe in ourselves”
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Spanish stalwart of Oltchim talks to ehfCL.com before the semi-final against Györ.
 

Barbosa: "We always believe in ourselves”

Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea enjoyed a great start in this season’s Women EHF Champions League, with six wins from six matches in the group stage.

However, the Romanian champions had to overcome two defeats in the first two games in the Main Round to qualify for the semi-finals, after losing against FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria and RK Krim Mercator.

In an epic comeback, Jakob Vestergaard’s team managed to recover and win the last four matches. But a three goal win against Krim in the last Main Round game meant that Oltchim came second in the group’s general classification.

Therefore, Oltchim will play against Györi Audi ETO KC in this season’s Women EHF Champions League semi-final. It’s the third semi-final in four years between the two powerhouses and Oltchim’s players are ready to avenge last year’s defeat, after Györ managed to win with 31:23 at home following a 31:35 defeat in the first leg.

Alexandrina Barbosa was not in Oltchim’s roster last year, but is a vital player for the Romanian champions this season. The Spanish international agreed to speak with ehfcl.com before the semi-final against Györ about Vâlcea’s path to the top four and the team’s chances against Györ.

ehfCL.com: Oltchim has lost the first two games in this group. Why did this happen after six clear wins in the Group Matches? 

Alexandrina Barbosa: We had a rough start, it’s true. We were truly disappointed with those two losses as we were expecting two wins against FTC and Krim. I don’t know what was the main reason for the losses.

I only know that we played very badly and made a lot of mistakes. Before we managed to make up our game, we had already a big deficit and we couldn’t overcome it.

ehfCL.com: Qualifying after two losses in the first two matches sounds difficult. How did you cope with this situation?

Alexandrina Barbosa: Oltchim is a very good team, with a lot of experienced players. I don’t think many of us were in this situation before, but I know that all the players believed in qualifying for the semi-final. We never lost our hope because we are a quality team.

ehfCL.com: Oltchim was on the brink of being eliminated before the away game against Zvezda. The Russian team managed to lead the game after 40 minutes, how did you feel then?

Alexandrina Barbosa: Well, it was a difficult situation. Even with a loss in Russia, we knew that we could qualify if we won in Hungary and at home, against Krim. But a good team manages to win in even the hardest situations. I remember that Zvezda was up by four goals and we made a fantastic comeback.

ehfCL.com: Then you won against FTC and Krim ...

Alexandrina Barbosa: Yes, we knew that if we wanted to qualify, we would have to win both these games. Ferencváros and Krim are competitive teams, but we did what we had to and won. It didn’t matter in the last game we were already qualified. We got out there and did our best. Unfortunately, we didn’t win the group and it was the slightest of margins: only one goal.

ehfCL.com: What did you expect from the semi-final against Györ?

Alexandrina Barbosa: We aren’t afraid of them, for starters. Of course, they are a very, very good team, with a good defence. However, we possess the same qualities and almost the same gameplay. These games are fun to watch and I hope we will go into the final.


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / br
 
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