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21.01.2018, 20:20
Kastamonu claim third straight victory
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DAY REVIEW: Turkish champions Kastamonu continued their winning run in the Women’s EHF Cup by beating Byasen at home, while Viborg and Zalau also won again

»EC Channel »2017-18 Women's EHF Cup
»Group Phase
»
 

Kastamonu claim third straight victory

After three rounds of matches, only two teams have not dropped a single point in  Women's EHF Cup Group Phase. While Lada earned their third victory on Saturday, Kastamonu did the same the following day and took another step towards the quarter-final.

  • Kastamonu have six points after three games
  • Viborg and Zalau claimed second straight victories
  • Gdynia suffered their ninth straight defeat in the current European season

GROUP A

Kuban (RUS) vs SCM Craiova (ROM) 28:26 (12:12)

Kuban claimed their first home victory in the group stage and now are level on four points with Brest, who were defeated in Randers the day before. In their turn, Craiova and Randers have two points each, so nothing is yet clear in Group A with three rounds of matches to go.

Craiova certainly had their chances to snatch two points in Krasnodar as they led for most of the first half, but Kuban drew level at 12:12 at the break.

Early in the second half, the visitors had an advantage again, but the game became more back and forth, with both rivals taking turns in the lead.

After 21:21 in the 48th minute, Kuban put the pressure on the Romanian side and did not give up their advantage any more. When Diana Golub made it 28:25 a minute before the final buzzer, the game was settled.

GROUP B

Koebenhavn Haandbold (DEN) vs Issy Paris Hand (FRA) 29:30 (13:13)

While Lada are top of Group B with the maximum of points after three games, Koebenhavn and Issy, level on two points before their clash, fought for second place – and the French side earned a narrow victory in a tight battle.

So far, Issy have claimed all their points away from home. Indeed both of their voyages to the Nordic countries were successful as the team coached by Arnaud Gandais won by one goal against both Vipers and Koebenhavn.

It was a tight battle in Frederiksberg, with the score being 13:13 at half time. Yet, after the interval Issy were superior, and their lead reached four goals at 23:19, then 25:21.

However, Koebenhavn did not give up and desperately tried to make a comeback in the closing minutes. They reduced the gap to just one goal, but were unable to do more as the French team celebrated a victory.

GROUP C

Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR) vs Byasen Handball Elite (NOR) 30:28 (19:12)

There seem to be no limits for the Turkish champions in the EHF Cup group stage. Following victories against Viborg and Gdynia, they went on to defeat Byasen in a thrilling game and stay top of Group C with six points.

With the support of their passionate fans, Kastamonu set the tone on court from the beginning. Byasen tried to keep up during the opening ten minutes, but then the Turkish side scored a number of easy goals and enjoyed a seven-goal advantage at half-time (19:12).

After the break, Byasen played more aggressively in defence, found their rhythm and started to reduce the gap.

Kastamonu were up 29:26 a minute from the final buzzer, but the visitors scored two quick goals and had a chance to draw level. Yet Byasen failed to do so, while the hosts scored the last goal of the match, clinching a 30:28 victory.

Like in both previous games, Serpil Iskenderoglu was Kastamonu’s top scorer. This time, she netted eight times - as many as Byasen’s leader Marit Jakobsen.

Viborg HK (DEN) vs Vistal Gdynia (POL) 27:24 (15:11)

The Danish team earned their second straight victory in the group phase, and four points after three matches give them a fair chance of progressing to the quarter-final.

Gdynia, on the other hand, continue to frustrate their fans. In Denmark, the Polish champions suffered their ninth straight defeat in Europe – six in the EHF Champions League and now three in the EHF Cup.

Even Aleksandra Zych, the best scorer of the whole group stage prior to Round 3, did not show brilliance this time, netting just three times. Her teammate Patricia Matieli did better, scoring eight times, but her impact was not enough for Gdynia.

It was a close match in the opening minutes, yet after the score was 6:6, Viborg improved their defence and started to pull clear, finishing the first half with a four-goal edge.

When the home team were up 18:13, then 21:17 after the break, the game seemed to be settled. However, Gdynia showed character and reduced the gap to 23:22 several minutes from full time, yet Viborg held their nerve and clinched a victory.

GROUP D

DHK Banik Most (CZE) vs H.C.Zalau (ROM) 22:25 (12:11)

The journey to the Czech Republic proved to be a success for Zalau who claimed their second victory in a row. With four points in hand, the Romanian team are second-placed in Group D, just one point behind Larvik.

In contrast, Banik have one point and stay bottom of the group, so their chances for a quarter-final berth seem pretty scarce at the moment.

Just like in two previous matches, the team from Most had a chance to win, but squandered their advantage in the end.

Now they played without their top scorers in the previous games, Marketa Jerabkova and Simona Szarkova. In their absence, Dominika Zachova came to the fore as she netted eight times.

Banik were behind for a large part of the first half, but made a comeback and were in the 12:11 lead at half-time.

After the break, it was Zalau’s turn to come from behind. Banik led 19:18 in the 45th minute, but the visitors scored four goals in a row and kept their advantage until the final buzzer.


TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev/jh
 
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