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28.02.2014, 08:10
Only finals from now on for Larvik
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FEATURE: Larvik won the Norwegian league Wednesday night, and this should give them the necessary boost ahead of their crucial match against Buducnost.
 

Only finals from now on for Larvik

Through a 31:23 home win against Oppsal, Larvik HK secured the win of the Norwegian league for the 16th time and for the tenth time in succession, even though there are still four rounds left in the league.

“It probably did not come as a big surprise to most people, but still it is nice to have that settled this early,” Larvik coach Tor Odvar Moen told ehfCL.com

With the title, Larvik also qualified for the Women's EHF Champions League next season, but right now it is time to Champions League winners from 2011 to focus on this season's tournament.

After having reached the final last year, Larvik are under extreme pressure this year, being last in Group 2 of the main round with only one point after three matches.

However, it may exactly be that point that becomes their lifeline in the tournament.

Not only does this point which they earned by drawing 19:19 away against Buducnost a fortnight ago mean that Larvik still have a chance – although it may only be theoretical – to qualify for the Women's EHF FINAL4.

However, the match in Montenegro and the way that point was earned has also given the Larvik players new hope that they may actually succeed in performing the miracle and fulfill their aim of reaching the highlight event in Budapest.

Saturday evening, they are meeting Buducnost again, this time at home in the Arena Larvik, where a win will be a must if the small hope of reaching the semi-finals is to be kept alive.

Win or leave

“We realise, of course, that each and every match from now on is a final for us. It is win or leave every time now.

“If things turn out right for us Saturday, another final will be waiting for us the following weekend, and this will be the case for the rest of the main round. If we fail just once more, it will all be over after the main round,” Tor Odvar Moen said.

Actually, Larvik were close to taking both points in a dramatic finish in the Moraca in Podgorica back then on 16 February, but now the Larvik team focus on the point they actually got instead of being frustrated by not having both which would obviously have put them in a better position.

“We are relieved that we at least got one point. Even though Buducnost were one player less on the court in the last minute, they had the ball and might have scored.

“As a matter of fact, I feel that the point we got in Podgorica and our performance down there has added new optimism and spirit to our squad.

“We do not look very far ahead right now, though. We realise that if we do not succeed Saturday, it will all be over, so our entire focus is on that match Saturday evening,” Tor Odvar Moen emphasised.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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