First leg preview of the Women's Challenge Cup Final.
Samobor defending Croatia's honour
Being the last Croatian team left in the European Cup competitons this season, it will be up to the ladies from ŽRK Samobor to defend the honour of the proud handball nation and take a title for the country.
The first step will have to be taken at Bogumil Toni Arena in Samobor, when the local heroines of the small town with a population of 38,000 near Zagreb take on The Black Angels from DHK Baník Most who will beyond any doubt be just as determined to take a European title for their home country the Czech Republic.
To the Czech women the encounter is also historic, as they are the first team from the Czech Republic ever to get this far in a European tournament.
“Small details will be the difference at the end,” Ivana Lovrić, playmaker of Samobor and Croatian international predicted toward eurohandball.com recently.
29-year-old Lovrić, who has top level experience from Hungarian Debrecén and French Metz, has a lot of respect for the Sunday visitors.
“They have the top scorer of this competition, an experienced line player and goalkeeper, and they play good defence,” is the way she characterises Baník Most.
Ivana Lovrić and her team-mates may rely on loud and enthusiastic support from the always numerous and noisy supporters in their hall in their efforts to get a good result before the return match. In the first leg of their semi-final against H 65 Höör from Sweden, for instance, 900 spectators supported them to a 25:17 win.
There is also optimism by the visitors, though – anyway when it comes to the final result over two matches.
“We believe in ourselves and hope we can win this final, as manager of Baník Most, Raděk Madera put it at the draw for the home rights in the final.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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