Danish team made it to the final match for the trophy after two years again, French club in the final for the first time in history.
Holstebro and Metz ready for the final
Team Tvis Holstebro and Metz Handball both lived up to the expectation they had created by their wins in the first leg, and qualified for the Women´s EHF Cup final. The fact that Holstebro are in the final means that there will be no draw for the final Tuesday April 16.
This is due to the fact that Holstebro had the home advantage in the second leg of the EHF Cup final in the 2010/11 season and will therefore be starting at home this time.
Holstebro as well as Metz were favourites to qualify for the final due to their impressive wins in the first leg, but even though both teams got through, they suceeded in very different ways.
While Team Tvis Holstebro were close to losing their seven goal lead from the first leg against their Danish league rivals FC Midtjylland, Metz followed their 19 goal home win against H. C. Zalau up with another clear win in Romania.
Having won 29:22 away in the first leg, Team Tvis Holstebro were expected to make it all clear at home. And things turned out well for Holstebro at the beginning, as the hosts were leading 5:2.
However, five goals in succession from FC Midtjylland changed the course of the game, and after also being two up at half time, Midtjylland managed to catch up with the seven goal deficit at 21:14 with eight minutes left.
This was as far as the visitors got, though, and the 2,473 spectators in Gråkjær Arena saw Holstebro limit the defeat to six goals which was sufficient for a one goal win over all.
“We should learn from this match, and the experience should strengthen our players. However, it goes without saying that we are happy. This is a milestone in the history of the club, as it is the first time we defeat one of the traditionally big teams in a semi-final, and that is really great,” Team Tvis Holstebro´s head coach Niels Agesen told the club´s website.
Ann Grete Nørgaard scored ten out of Holstebro´s 18 goals, while Trine Troelsen and Fie Woller scored five each for Midtjylland.
HC Zalau (ROM) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 21:26 (8:14)
The around 30 Metz fans, who had taken the trip to Romania to support the French league winners, got a nice Sunday evening in Zalau, as their heroines never left any doubt as two which team was going to qualify for the final.
After Metz´ stunning 34:15 home win in the first leg, the second match might seem like a formality, but still it turned into a physically quite intense affair.
If the Romanian finalists of the previous edition of the EHF Cup had been nursing any hope to perform the miracle and catch up with the French 19 goal lead from the first match, Metz soon extinguished that hope by taking an early 5:2 lead.
This three goal lead was extended to seven already in the first half and to eight after the break, before the hosts managed to narrow the distance down a bit.
1200 spectators in the Sport Hall Zalau saw Gabriella Szücs score six goals for Zalau, while Jurswailly Luciano hit the net eight times for Metz who are now ready to visit Team Tvis Holstebro in the Gråkjær Arena in the first weekend of May, and to receive the Danes in Les Arènes of Metz the following weekend.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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