ROUND REVIEW: Just like the Cup Winners' Cup, the final of the Women's EHF Cup 2013-14 will be a Danish-Russian affair
Esbjerg and Lada meet in final after dramatic ending
Teams Esbjerg from Denmark and Lada from Russia are in the final of the Women's EHF Cup after dramatic second legs of the two semi-final ties.
In the very last seconds of the away match against Fehérvar, Esbjerg scored the decisive goal which qualified them for the final on away goals after a 24:25 defeat at home and a 27:26 win in Hungary.
Lada were seven goals down, 31:24 after the first leg away in the Russian duel against Astrakhanochka, but on home ground in Togliatti, Lada managed to turn the tables and book a ticket for the final through a 31:22 victory.
Fehérvár KC (HUN) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN) 26:27 (13:14)
With a goal on a counter-attack in the very last seconds, right back Tove Seest sent Esbjerg into their first European final in the club's history.
Seest´s goal to make it 27:26 was enough to qualify her Danish team for the Women´s EHF Cup final due to most away goals in the two legs, and it was the culmination of a highly dramatic finish, in which Fehérvár were leading 26:24 with three minutes left, but in which Esbjerg managed to come back and win as narrowly as possible.
“I have never experienced anything like this before. I have been watching matches like this on TV, and I have been thinking that it would be cool to be part of it myself. Now I have tried it, and it is really crazy,” Esbjerg´s match winner Tove Seest told the Danish website hbold.dk.
Before the nail-biting finish, the 900 spectators in the full Köfem Playing Hall in Szekesfehérvár had seen a match, in which Esbjerg were leading by one to three goals most of the time.
This pattern was not changed until the last minutes of the second half, when the home team did only manage to catch up, but also to get two goals up at 26:24.
However, it did not help them at the end, as the visitors came back and took the ticket for the final.
Lada (RUS) vs Astrakhanochka (RUS) 31:22 (16:12)
Lada still have the chance to copy their EHF Cup win from 2012 and win the tournament for the second time in their history.
This is a fact after the team from Togliatti have qualified for the final of this seaso's edition of the tournament.
Lada managed to not only catch up with Astrakhanochka´s seven goal lead from the first match, but also to win the all Russian tie by two on aggregate after their nine-goal win at home in the Sportkomplex USK “Olimp” on Sunday afternoon.
Astrakhan had won the first leg on their own home court 31:24, but already at half time of the return match, Lada had caught up with the majority of the seven-goal difference, leading 16:12.
Lada were considerably more successful at neutralising Astakhan´s backs Karyna Yezhykava and Marija Jovanovic, who scored seven goals each in the first match. This time Yezhykava scored four and Jovanovic one.
Instead, Lada dominated the game and as the second half progressed, the 2,700 spectators saw the home team more than double their lead and win by nine, which set them up for the final against Danish side Team Esbjerg.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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