Holstebro close to a revenge on FCM, Metz on the verge of their first ever trip to the EC final after the first leg of the Women´s EHF Cup Semi-finals.
Metz and Holstebro heading for final
The return match of the Women´s EHF Cup Semi-finals between H. C. Zalau and Metz Handball looks like a formality after the French 19 goals home win Sunday, while Team Tvis Holstebro also seem very close to the final, being seven goals up before the home game in the entirely Danish semi-final tie against FC Midtjylland.
In the 2010-11 season, Midtjylland won the all Danish final in the EHF Cup against no other than Team Tvis Holstebro. This year, Holstebro seem to be avenging that defeat after their 29:22 away win Saturday. Even though FC Midtjylland will only have to travel 40 kilometers for the return match, they seem to have to climb a mountain to catch up with that deficit.
Geographically, Metz are in for a much longer journey the coming weekend, but they can travel to Romania with a reassuring 19 goal lead in the baggage after having crushed Zalau 34:15 at home Sunday.
FC Midtjylland (DEN) vs. Team Tvis Holstebro (DEN) 22:29 (10:19)
Untill this Saturday Team Tvis Holstebro had never won away against FC Midtjylland. They changed that fact effectively, as they stunned 2,109 spectators in Ikast-Brande Arena by being dominating from the start and leading by ten goals already in the first half.
After being nine up at half time, the visitors cruised to an 11 goal lead several times in the second half, before finally winning by seven which gives them an enormous advantage before next weekend´s return match at home.
“We got a terrific start, and our spirit and confidence carried us through. We played in our own way, and we played as a team. We can still lose at home, though. It is great to be so many goals ahead, but we are not through yet,” playmaker and Danish international Kristina Kristiansen said after the win.
“It looks difficult now, being seven goals down,” Kristiansen´s playmaker colleague and national team-mate Lærke Møller from FC Midtjylland said.
“Their 29 goals prove that our defence allowed them to do what they are good at. Furthermore, we did not succeed in neither our established attacking play nor in our fast breaks. I still hope we can go on, but it will be difficult,” Møller said.
Danish international Louise Burgaard scored six times for Team Tvis Holstebro, Dutch international Nycke Groot scored the same number for FC Mdtjylland.
The second leg is taking place in Holstebro on Saturday April 13.
While Team Tvis Holstebro seem very close to the final in the all Danish semi-final tie, the second leg between Zalau and Metz almost seems to become a formality after Metz Handball´s huge home win in the first leg.
5000 spectators in the Arenes of Metz saw the home team being in the driver´s seat from the start, and already at half time the hosts were leading by eight.
Things were going to change from bad to worse for the visitors, though, as Metz managed to more double their lead during the second half which they won by eleven goals.
“We have one foot and a toe in the EHF Cup finally,” as Thierry Weizman, president of Metz Handball cautiously put it after the match.
“The work from Sandor Rac (head coach) around this semi-final has been perfect,” Weizman added.
French international Paule Baudoin scored 8 times for Metz, for whom goalkeeper Gervaise Pierson had a saving percentage of 50. Roxana Varga was Zalau´s most scoring player with 6 goals.
The second match will take place in Zalau Sunday April 14.
Photo: Jens Anton Nordestgaard
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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