ROUND REVIEW: 2013 winners Team Tvis Holstebro reach EHF Cup semi-finals despite second leg scare in France
Holstebro almost let 13-goal lead slip
Having won the first leg at home 40:27 against Issy Paris Hand, Team Tvis Holstebro seemed to be almost in the semi-finals of the Women’s EHF Cup.
However, the 2013 champions were close to crashing out of the tournament as they visited the French capital for the return match.
1,700 spectators in the Stade Pierre de Coubertin saw Issy leading 17:10 at half-time, and in the second half the home team even managed to reach the magic 13-goal lead as 32:19 in the dying minutes, but a goal from the Danish team’s Swedish left back Jamina Roberts limited their defeat to 32:20 and saved Holstebro’s blushes.
“I think I have worked a bit as a coach, but there is a first time for everything. Paris played really well, and defended well, and not many of our players set a foot right,” Holstebro coach Niels Agesen told his club’s website.
Holstebro’s opponent in the semi-final will be Turkish side Muratpasa Belediye SK, who have never been this far in Europe before.
Muratpasa were down 31:25 after the first leg away against Buxtehuder SV, but already by half-time of the return match in Antalya, the Turkish team lead by ten goals, 16:6.
At the final buzzer, the distance was still ten goals, 28:18, and Muratpasa were through to the semi-final with a four-goal aggregate win.
Last season, Team Esbjerg reached the final in the competition, and having won the Danish league during the week, the team from the west of Jutland believed they could catch up with the eight-goal deficit from the first leg of their quarter-final tie against ÉRD HC.
However, Esbjerg never even got near to the 28:20 deficit from the first match in Hungary. 850 spectators in the Blue Water Dokken in Esbjerg saw the visitors win 29:28 after 12:12 at half-time.
“I am not disappointed that we lost on aggregate, because we did not do our job in Hungary. I am more disappointed that we did not reach a level near what we showed against HC Odense in the Danish league on Wednesday. We needed to improve many things compared to the first match, but we made some of the same mistakes again, not least with our shots,” Esbjerg´s right wing Maibritt Kviesgaard told Team Esbjerg’s website.
In the semi-final, ÈRD will encounter Russia’s Rostov-Don, who were practically certain of progression before the second leg, having won the first match of their entirely Russian tie against Astrakhanochka 37:19.
In the return match in Astrakhan, Rostov-Don secured another big win, this time by 11 goals, 27:16.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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