DAY REVIEW: Russian teams Kuban, Rostov and Lada are victorious against German opponents, while Scandinavian teams Nykøbing and Glassverket split points again.
Successful day for Russian teams
Kuban and Rostov-Don made further steps towards getting into the quarter-final after defeating HC Leipzig and SG-BBM Bietigheim, respectively.
In Group D, NFH - Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub and Glassverket split points again, while Handball Club Lada revenged their previous loss against TuS Metzingen.
HC Leipzig (GER) vs Kuban (RUS) 27:33 (12:19)
A Bundesliga win against fellow EHF Cup participant Metzingen on Tuesday (24:23) seemed to boost Leipzig’s morale. Perhaps they believed that beating Kuban at home was possible- even without a number of injured key players. Yet reality was different- just like last week, the team of coach Norman Rentsch were defeated by their Russian opponents.
Leipzig opened the scoring with Joanna Rode’s goal, however, it was the only time during 60 minutes when the hosts were in the lead. Just ten minutes into the game, Kuban had accumulated an impressive lead (8:3). The visitors continued to perform well- they won the first half 19:12.
With just ten players in the roster, Leipzig did not seem to have real opportunities for a comeback. Similar to their previous meeting in Krasnodar, Kuban were somewhat complacent after the break, yet their victory was never in danger.
Before the Sunday clash between Brest Bretagne Handball and Alba Fehérvár KC in the same group, Kuban top the quartet with six points, while Leipzig sit at the bottom after losing four games in a row.
Rostov-Don (RUS) vs SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) 34:24 (19:11)
Rostov made an important step towards the EHF Cup quarter-final after beating their German rivals for the second time in a row. Now the Russian side top Group C with six points while Bietigheim stay at the bottom with just two points.
The head coach of the visitors Martin Albertsen had to ask for his first time-out only five minutes into the game when Bietigheim were down 1:4. However, the gap continued to grow and the score was 11:4 by the 16th minute, and 19:11 at the break.
Bietigheim heavily relied on Nina Muller in attack- the 36-year-old playmaker, who finished the game as top scorer with ten goals, helping her team to reduce the gap somewhat.
Rostov did not have a comparable high scoring player in this game, yet they had nine players who had their names on the scoresheet. The hosts were never in serious trouble, and they went on to clinch their third win in the group.
NFH- Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub (DEN) vs Glassverket (NOR) 32:32 (15:20)
Just like the previous match in Trondheim, the two Scandinavian teams could not find a winner. Once again, Glassverket were in the lead for much of the game, however, the visitors from Denmark stayed unbeaten.
The hosts dominated the first 15 minutes, however, Glassverket improved in attack after this. The Norwegian team led comfortably at the break, 20:15.
Committed to attaining their first victory in Group D, Glassverket continued to lead by three to four goals throughout most of the second half. However, their dominance waned as the final whistle came closer.
With two minutes to go, the visitors were up 32:30. Nevertheless, NFH managed to grab a point, with Sarah Iversen drawing level just 14 seconds before full-time.
Tus Metzingen (GER) vs Handball Club Lada (RUS) 23:24 (12:13)
In a very important clash in Group B, Lada revenged their previous home defeat against TuS Metzingen in the previous round, and improved their position in the standings. Both opponents are now level on four points, and everything will be decided in the two remaining rounds of games.
The Russian team suffered a narrow defeat against Metzingen at home (26:27), and another loss may have lost them the chance of a quarter-final spot. In the end, Lada’s 3400-km trip to Germany was not in vain- they claimed two points in a tight battle.
Both teams appeared nervous, and made many mistakes, but the visitors got the upper hand in the first half. They were up 9:5, then 12:9, yet at half time Metzingen nearly drew level (13:12).
The second half was even tighter. For the most part, Lada were in lead by one or two goals, although occasionally the hosts went in front. With 80 seconds to go, Daria Dmitrieva’s shot made the score 24:22, rendering Anna Loerper’s goal for Metzingen 16 seconds from time futile.
TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev/kc
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