GROUP 1 REVIEW: After an extremely hard-fought and dramatic match, Odense beat Kobenhavn by two goals to book their first ever ticket to the quarter-finals
Win in Danish derby sees Odense through
All eight quarter-finalists of the Women’s EHF Champions League are now known, with the last ticket to the next round going to Odense HC. In a Danish derby against Kobenhavn on Saturday afternoon, they needed a home victory and ultimately reached their goal with a 25:23 result.
Although it was Odense’s Mia Højlund who opened the score board, Kobenhavn enjoyed a better start overall and took a 6:3 lead. Coach Jan Pytlik called for a timeout that helped the hosts improve their game, scoring four unanswered goals to pull in front 7:6 and maintaining a slight advantage to lead 13:11 at half-time.
The second period saw a roller-coaster game, where Kobenhavn’s 3:0 run helped them grab a 14:13 advantage by the 37thminute. Odense fought back to take the advantage at 16:14 before the visitors scored four goals in a row to make it 18:16 in their favour.
Johanna Bundsen made a string of saves in Kobenhavn’s goal, while Kelly Dulfer and Mai Kragballe Nielsen set the tone in attack. However, Odense goalkeeper Tess Wester also had a strong game, helping her team stay in the fight.
Three minutes from time, the sides were level at 23:23, and following a series of mistakes and poor shots by both, Ingvild Bakkerud put Odense in front 25 seconds from full-time. The home side’s defence blocked Jenny Alm’s next shot, and Kathrine Heindahl established the final 25:23 score off a fast break.
“I am very proud of my team. Today, they showed some spirit that was absolutely amazing, and they were fighting for each other,” said Odense coach Jan Pytlick. “With all the players we are missing, I think it is a huge accomplishment to defeat Kobenhavn Handbold, which is a really good team. We are very proud of that and also the way we solve the problems with players who have not been playing very much this season. They came and played a big role in the game.”
TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / cg
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