QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: The third last stage of the Women's EHF Cup saw Lada beating Kobenhavn and Volgograd forfeiting a six-goal lead against Team Esbjerg from Denmark
Lada set up all-Russian semi-final, while Volgograd bows out
Having won 36:30 at home against Team Esbjerg last week was not enough for Dinamo Volgograd, when they visited the west coast of Denmark for the second leg.
Following a seven-goal lead at half-time, Esbjerg eventually won 36:27 and sent the Russian team out of the Women's EHF Cup which will, however, still have two Russian teams in the semi-finals.
Astrakhanochka, who already qualified last weekend, are meeting Lada in an all Russian encounter, after Lada finished the job and won 33:27 at Danish team, København Håndbold.
Fehérvár KC from Hungary also qualified. After a 28:21 away against U Jolidon Cluj in the first leg, they sealed the deal with a 24:21 home win on Sunday.
København Håndbold (DEN) vs Lada (RUS) 27:33 (14:20) // First leg: 19:27; Aggregate score: 46:60
Lada are ready for an entirely Russian semi-final against Astrakhanochka who qualified already last weekend by eliminating TSV Bayer Leverkusen from Germany.
Lada left no doubt about which team would qualify for the semi-final, as they visited Frederiksberg Hallen in Copenhagen for the second leg against København Håndbold on Saturday.
Having won the first match by eight goals, Lada did not relax in the second match either, and after the Danes had been leading with a couple of goals at the start, the visitors made things clear already before half-time when they had taken a six-goal lead - which eventually also ended up being the goal-gap at the end of the game.
"We met an extremely strong team who may be a dangerous team in the European top in the near future, and a team who put us under maximal pressure.
"However, I would like to compliment our players for their attitude in the second half in which we managed to draw with Lada," København coach Martin Albertsen said.
Team Esbjerg (DEN) vs Dinamo Volgograd (RUS) 36:27 (20:13) // First leg: 30:36; Aggregate score 66:63
A six-goal lead they had brought with them from the first leg turned out not to be enough for Dinamo Volgograd.
Actually, it only took Team Esbjerg one half, not only to catch up with the deficit but even to get one goal ahead on aggregate, as the Danish team led 20:13 at half-time.
In the second half Volgograd reduced the distance to five goals, but courtesy of a brilliant finish Esbjerg managed to increase their lead to nine at the end, and with a 66:63 win on aggregate the team from far west Denmark reach in the semi-final against Fehérvár KC.
"We have sent one of Europe's best teams out of the EHF Cup. We played a fantastic first half, but still they managed to reduce to five goals in the second half. Fortunately, we were able to win by nine after all," Esbjerg coach Lars Frederiksen told newspaper JydskeVestkysten.
Fehérvár KC (HUN) vs U Jolidon Cluj (ROM) 24:21 (17:12) // First leg: 28:21; Aggregate score: 52:42
Following a ten-goal win on aggregate against U Jolidon Cluj, Fehérvár are ready for the semi-final against Team Esbjerg.
After they enjyoed a 28:21 victory already in the first match in Romania, Fehérvár were close to the semi-final already before their home match against Cluj on Sunday afternoon.
And when the Hungarian team built up a nine-goal lead at 14:5 already in the first half, the last doubt about the final outcome was removed among the 1,200 spectators in the Köfem Playing Arena.
Therefore, it probably did not mean a lot to the home team that the visitors reduced the gap in the second half, where the distance was down to two goals a couple of times.
With ten goals, right winger Laura Popa played her part in minimising the defeat for Cluj.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
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