Metz close to triumph
Women's EHF Cup final, first leg, Team Tvis Holstebro (DEN) vs. Metz Handball (FRA) 31:35 (16:18)
Metz close to triumph
Almost 100 Metz supporters could celebrate with the players after Metz Handball had won by four in the Gråkjær Arena of Holstebro Sunday afternoon – a result which gives the French women an extremely fine chance to take the title in the return match in the Les Arenes of Metz next Sunday.
Women's EHF Cup Final, first leg:
Team Tvis Holstebro (DEN) vs. Metz Handball (FRA) 31:35 (16:18)
The match started at a very high pace, with short attacks on both sides and many shots. Team Tvis Holstebro were the better team at this fast way of playing at the beginning, where the hosts were up by 5:2 and 7:4.
Soon, however, Metz managed to take some of the pace out of the game, and as their defence was very well prepared for Holstebro´s key players in the attack, the visitors took control from the middle of the first half, and already at half-time the visitors were leading by two.
At the start of the second half Holstebro managed to close the distance shortly, but Metz seemed to have the better physical resources, and furthermore they had a more or less secret weapon, as Anastasiya Pidpalova was sent on from the start of the second half and scored five goals on five shots within the first quarter of an hour after having entered the court.
For most of the second half, then, the spectators in Holstebro saw a visiting team being in the lead with two to four goals most of the time, and at the end the distance was still four goals.
“I am not really sure what went wrong. Maybe they were simply better than us. I do not think that the physical difference was deciding, but we missed too many opportunities, and we did not get as many fast-breaks as we wanted. However, being in this final is still a huge experience for us, and I am really looking forward to playing in a full hall in Metz next Sunday, where nothing is impossible the way I see it,” Team Tvis Holstebro playmaker Kristina Kristiansen told Danish TV after the match.
Left winger Ann Grethe Nørgaard scored impressive 15 goals for Team Tvis Holstebro, while Russian middle back Ekatarina Andryshina scored 6 for Metz.
The second leg is to be played next Sunday, on 12 May at 18.00 local time.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br