ROUND PREVIEW: Hungarian team and the side from the Caspian seaside have the final of the Women's EHF Cup at reach.
Fehérvár and Astrakhan trying to finish the job
Fehérvár KK and Astrkhanochka have the upper hand ahead of the second leg of the Women's EHF Cup semi-finals.
Fehérvár could take a 25:24 win with them home from Denmark after the first match against Team Esbjerg, and this result obviously gives the Hungarian team an extremely good chance to reach the final.
Astrakhan will be travelling to Togliatti with a 31:24 home win in the baggage, and even though they are playing Lada away in the return match, the seven-goal lead puts them in a comfortable position before the last 60 minutes of this all-Russian tie.
Having overcome a troublesome start, where Team Esbjerg were leading 6:2, Fehérvár got a fine result in the first leg in Denmark, and the one goal lead the Hungarian team could take with them from Denmark, gives reason for optimism ahead of the return match in the Köfem Playing Hall in Székesfehérvár Saturday night.
Team Esbjerg spent the week between the two matches to make history by qualifying for the semi-finals of the Danish championship play-off for the first time ever.
Such an achievement gives self-confidence, of course, and head coach Lars Frederiksen expressed his belief that his team can still reach the final.
“The result and the way we played in the first match was not good, but we know that we can play much better. Therefore we still have a strong belief that we can manage the task and get into that final,” Lars Frederiksen said.
The EHF Cup winners from 2012 and Women's EHF Champions League finalists from 2007 have the work cut out for them before receiving Astrakhanochka for the second leg of this all-Russian semi-final tie.
Having a seven goal lead with them from the home match, Astrakhan can travel to Togliatti with optimism, but of course they cannot feel safe and secure yet.
Gaps bigger than seven goals have been closed in European return matches before, so nothing is decided before the match in the Sportkomplex USK “Olimp in Togliatti Sunday afternoon.
For Lada, one key to success might be watching particularly out for Astrakhan's backs Karyna Yezhykava and Marija Jovanovic who scored seven goals each in the first match.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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