QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: The Norwegian side conquered the fortress in Podgorica thanks to Lunde’s saves and Reistad’s goals, and now hold a commanding advantage in the two-leg tie
Buducnost heavily defeated by Vipers
In their first ever EHF Champions League Quarter-final match, Vipers Kristiansand were as cold as ice in Buducnost’s cauldron. The Norwegian champions, who are playing their second ever Champions League season, will leave Montenegro with a huge advantage over the competition’s record participants.
Thanks to the clear 24:19 (10:8) away win, the gate to the DELO WOMEN’s EHF FINAL4 is wide open. The only Norwegian team to have been part of the event was Larvik in 2015, coached by Gustav Ole Gjekstad – now at the helm for Kristiansand.
On the other hand, Buducnost need a miracle next weekend in order to avoid their second straight elimination in the quarter-final.
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
In the first 17 minutes, Buducnost only scored three goals – the reason? Mainly Vipers goalkeeper and four-time Champions league winner Katrine Lunde. The absence of playmaker and shooter Milena Raicevic due to injury was significant for the Montenegrin side.
But after 3:7, the tide turned a little, as Katarina Bulatovic fired from all cylinders and the Buducnost defence stood stronger against the Norwegian visitors. But one Vipers player was simply unstoppable: 20-year-old Henny Ella Reistad, who was the top scorer of the quiet first half with four strikes – and immediately added more goals to her tally right after the break.
A triple strike from Emily Arntzen (two) and Linn Sulland for the intermediate score of 15:10 caused Buducnost to lose their rhythm completely. Even a timeout from coach Dragan Adzic did not stop the downswing, as five more attacks were not converted into goals and the deficit rose to 14:19. With both goalkeepers – Lunde and Buducnost’s Marina Rajcic – on fire, the number of goals remained quite low.
Kristiansand were clever enough in attack and aggressive enough in defence to stand the final attempts of the hosts, who, before Sunday, had only lost one home match this season: a 20:23 against Rostov.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / cg
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