SM 1968
EHF Champions League

CSKA make dream come true

EHF / Sergey Nikolaev

Although Rostov-Don were eliminated by Vipers Kristiansand earlier today, Russia will still be represented by a team in the DELO EHF FINAL4.

Following a five-goal defeat at CSM last week, CSKA needed a strong comeback on home court, and the Moscow-based side managed it, as they won 24:19 and went through on away goals rule. CSKA have accomplished the impressive feat of making the DELO EHF FINAL4 in their debut season in the continental top flight.

CSKA (RUS) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU) (12:11)
First leg: 27:32. Aggregate: 51:51

• Cristina Neagu scored six goals in the first half, and Jelena Grubisic made quite a number of saves, yet CSKA were in front at half-time, 12:11
• the home side pulled clear to 23:16 with five minutes to go, but thanks to Neagu’s effort, CSM scored three goals in a row to close the gap to 23:19, which would have seen them through
• however, Polina Vedekhina scored a minute and a half from the buzzer, sending her team into the top four of Europe
• Neagu netted nine times for CSM and increased her tally in the tournament to 115 goals, three fewer than Ana Gros from Brest; however, the Romanian star will not be able to score any more goals in the current competition
• Sara Ristovska netted seven times for CSKA, while the captain Darya Dmitrieva, who scored six goals, also did a good job as an assistant

CSKA are comeback specialists

While the group stage went quite smoothly for CSKA, the Russian side had to deal with many more problems in further competition stages.

In the play-offs, they lost by five goals at RK Krim Mercator before winning by six at home. And history managed to repeat itself in the quarter-final, as CSKA again managed a strong home comeback to eliminate CSM.

I am very happy that our young team reaches the Champions League final in the debut season. Many people didn’t believe in us, but anyway we achieved the result".
Darya Dmitrieva
Player, HC CSKA

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