MATCH REVIEW: Away victory in Russia leaves no doubt as the Danes take their first Cup Winners' Cup title and seventh European Cup crown
No stopping Viborg after away win
Zvezda were on the way to catch up with Viborg HK´s nine goal lead from the first leg, when the two teams met again In Russia on Sunday. However, the Danish team soon removed any doubt about the final outcome, and with a one-goal win in the return match, Viborg left no doubt as to which team was the stronger one in the Cup Winners´ Cup Final.
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Viborg won the Cup Winners´ Cup for the first time and took their seventh European title in history, when they added a one-goal win in the second match to their nine goal triumph in the home game a week ago.
However, Zvezda Zvenigorod were actually on their way to contending for the trophy at the beginning of the match in the Sport Hall “Olimpiyski” in Chekhov on Sunday afternoon.
An aggressive and successful defence combined with efficient counter attaking gave the home team just the start they needed to be able to hope to equal Viborg´s nine-goal lead from the match in Denmark.
Zvezda went ahead 2:0, 6:2 and 9:4, but an improved attacking play from the visitors soon brought them back into the game, and with the distance being narrowed down to two goals at half-time, it became difficult for the hosts and their fans to go on believing in the miracle.
Viborg take the lead
The Russian hopes were made even thinner, as the second half progressed, and Viborg did not only manage to draw level at 14:14 seven minutes after the break, but also to take their first lead in the match at 16:15 two minutes later.
From that point, the Viborg fans, who had taken the long trip to Chekhov to support their heroines, were heard more and more among the 1,000 spectators, and they could really start celebrating, as Viborg went three goals ahead at 24:21 with a couple of minutes left to play. And, of course, it did not reduce the Danish happiness at all that the last two goals of the match were scored by Zvezda.
“We started the game well and created a five-goal lead, mainly through fine play in our defence. After that, we lost concentration and made some unforced losses of the ball, though. At the end, of course, the weariness from a busy match schedule was obvious. We had to play the finals of the Russian championship parallel to these Cup Winners´ Cup finals,” Zvezda coach Alexandr Revva told eurohandball.com.
“We were under pressure from the start and went down 9:4, but we came back fine and reduced the gap to 13:11 before half-time. We had a good break and a fine talk about things, and then all of a sudden we had the chance to also win in Zvenigorod. That was really cool,” Viborg coach Christian Dalmose said.
Louise Burgaard, Sanja Damnjanovic and Louise Lyksborg top scored with five goals each for Viborg, as did Liudmilla Postnova and Nadezda Potapenko for Zvezda.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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