TOURNAMENT REVIEW: Home side shock two Danish teams in two days to book their place in Europe's elite club competition
Epic Baia Mare qualifies
HCM Baia Mare managed to qualify for the Women’s EHF Champions League for the first time in the club’s history with a convincing win on Sunday.
The Romanian club won the final of Qualification Tournament 3 in Baia Mare, 36:23 against Team Tvis Holstebro and will play against title holders Györi Audi ETO KC, German champions Thüringer HC and Austrian champions Hypo Niederösterreich.
HCM Baia Mare vs Team Tvis Holstebro 36:23 (20:10)
An epic start, with nine goals scored and none conceded in the first nine minutes saw HCM Baia Mare taking a commanding lead in the final of the Qualification Tournament 3 against Team Tvis Holstebro.
The guests took the start too easy, while Baia Mare drew strength from their fans and put it to use on the court.
While Nechita and Rudics looked like proper Nordic wings, scoring for fun on fast breaks, back court players Eliza Buceschi and Melinda Geiger managed to find empty spaces in the Danish defence and found the net consistently.
“We knew our opponents were a difficult team to beat, but we surprised them with a great gameplan. They were also surprised by this great atmosphere,” said Buceschi.
Baia Mare cruised in the first half, in which Team Tvis Holstebro never managed to cut the lead to less than eight goals (12:4). Even the decision by Baia Mare’s coach, Costică Buceschi, to rest his starters in the last ten minutes was not punished, as the Danes could not pull back and ended the first half with a ten goal deficit.
After a perfect start, the Romanian side showed that both yesterday’s game against Viborg and the first 30 minutes against Holstebro were no accident. Even though most of the players lack experience in a competition like the Women’s EHF Champions League, Baia Mare managed to keep their counterparts at a safe distance, winning the most important game in their history 36:23.
HCM Baia Mare will be the 4th Romanian team to play in the Women’s EHF Champions League group stage after Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea, Silcotub Zalău and Universitatea Jolidon Cluj.
“This is a great public and we thank them for their sacrifice and cheers. It’s a unique feeling to play in the Champions League and we hope to win at home,” said Baia Mare right back Melinda Geiger.
As for Team Tvis Holstebro, they have qualified for the thirs round of the EHF Cup Winners' Cup and will play against the winner from the 2nd round game between Turkish side Ușkudar B.S.K. Dernegi and Belarusian team BNTU-BelAZ Minsk Region.
Viborg HK vs SERCODAK Dalfsen 33:12 (13:7)
Surprised by HCM Baia Mare yesterday, Viborg took no chances earlier today in the third place final against Dutch champions SERCODAK Dalfsen, winning with a 21-goal-margin, 33:12.
However, the Danish team didn’t start as well as expected and Dalfsen was leading 6:4 after only ten minutes. It was only then when Viborg woke up and with a better defence and some attractive attacks that the Danes took the lead and never looked back.
The Dutch side only managed to score one goal in the last 20 minutes of the first half and only five goals in the second half against Viborg, who qualified for the third round of the EHF Cup Winners’ Cup and will play against the winner of the 2nd round game between ZORK Jagodina and Union Korneuburg.
The Dutch side, who finished the tournament with two defeats, both at the hands of Danish opponents, will play in the 2nd round of the Cup Winners’ Cup against Polish side KGHM Metraco Zaglebie Lubin.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor