One-sided affairs turned into thrillers
None of the four Women´s Cup Winners´ Cup semi-finalists can take the ticket to final for granted after both first leg duels ended up in tight results. And in both cases one-sided affairs started to turn into thrillers at the similar breaking point at 25th minute.
The second leg matches are scheduled for the next weekend (13-14 April).
Thüringer HC (GER) vs Hypo NÖ (AUT) 32:32 (14:19)
German champions were virtually left behind at the start of the match by the record EHF Champions League winners from Vienna, as Hypo built up an eight-goal lead (11:19) in the first 25 minutes.
However the shocked crowd in a packed arena in Neuhausen saw a great revival in the next minutes as their team not only successfully caught up with the visitors, but marched ahead by two goals.
Austrian title holders did not give up and fought off a draw before the final whistle as they could rely mainly on the top scorer of the match Deonise Cavalleiro Fachinello (pictured right) who netted in ten times.
“We were thoroughly prepared for this match and started very well. Many yellow cards and suspensions forced us to make many changes in our defence and that cost us too much power, what we missed at the later stage of the game. THC returned to the match with a great performance and high emotions,” Ferenc Kovács, the assistant coach of Hypo said at the press conference.
“Hypo showed a fantastic handball in the first half. However, my team followed in the second half. We were too late at all individual duels on the court, but we were right that it was not possible for visitors to keep this pace for the whole match,” THC head coach Herbert Müller said.
Issy Paris Hand (FRA) vs Rostov Don (RUS) 23:22 (15:11)
In the match of the semi-finals debutants Issy showed a brilliant start to 5:1 and 7:2. The hosts even managed to extend the lead to seven goals in the 25 minute (13:6), but that was an alarm clock for the visitors who started their great rally.
After first ten minutes of the second half, they were completely back in the game leveling the score and although they lost by one goal at last, everything remains open before the re-match in Russia.
Photo: Mario Gentzel
TEXT: EHF / br