Danish delight for a superior home side firing on all cylinders
Randers give Buxtehuder a rude awakening
Any hopes Buxtehuder SV might have had of pulling off a second successive upset, having beaten more fancied Norwegian outfit Byåsen Trondheim to reach the Group Matches, vanished in thin air against a rock-solid Randers HK team who made a perfect start to their Women´s EHF Champions League campaign with a 36:26 (20:10) win over the visitors.
Randers HK - Buxtehuder SV 36:26 (20:10)
The home team thrived in their acoustic home court and made their intentions clear from the start, racing into a 6:3 lead in the opening 10 minutes and then romped away to 10:4 midway through the first half. French maestro Sirana Dembele and Swedish sharpshooter Sabina Jacobsen were on fire as BSV’s defence couldn’t deal with their quick interchange of passes and clinical finishing in a one-sided first half.
To their credit, the German side didn’t roll over and forced Randers to keep going at full throttle, as the home team left nothing to chance and earned a massive 16:7 advantage after 22 minutes thanks to an avalanche of easy goals from fast breaks. Then 10-goal halftime advantage in no way flattered Randers, whose early form indicates they should do better than last season when they were eliminated in the group stage of the competition and then also lost in the Cup Winners´ Cup last 16 to Zvezda Zvenigorod.
There was no letting up from Randers in the second half as their Brazilian goalkeeper Chana Masson continued to shine between the posts while goals kept flying in at the other end to make the score 23:10 in the 34th minute. Lone Fischer was the lone beacon of light for Buxtehuder SV in the first half with four goals but not even her valiant solo effort could stop the home side from easing to an overwhelming win.
Jacobsen kept tormenting the visitors, having racked up seven goals by the 40th minute when Randers led 27:15. Bundesliga´s outfit just couldn’t stop Spaniard Macarena Aguilar bursting through the middle and double-teaming any of the home team’s players created space on either flank, which Randers exploited to devastating effect.
Buxtehude’s goalkeeper Antje Lenz was the only noteworthy defensive barrier to the home team’s relentless assault, having pulled of a string of superb saves in the closing stages to keep the scoreline respectable. The effervescent Jacobsen finished as the game’s top scorer with eight goals, Aguliar, Camilla Dalby and Gitte Andersen scored five each while Dembele, Sofie Johansen and Ulrika Agren netted four apiece for Randers. Fischer led Buxtehuder with seven goals, Jana Stapelfeldt chipped in with six and Jessica Oldenburg managed five.
TEXT: Zoran Milosavljević / br